Who’s The G.O.A.T. Rap Crew? Death Row Family vs N.W.A. & The Posse | Round 2

In the tournament to decide the greatest rap crew of all time, this Round 2 battle is between two crews with Dr. Dre at the center.

In recognition of hip hop’s 50th anniversary, BET Digital, in partnership with Ambrosia For Heads, is celebrating the culture by hosting a bracket-style competition that allows you to determine hip hop’s greatest crew.

Rather than having “experts” tell you who is the greatest of all-time, this is your opportunity to collectively make that decision. After giving the opportunity to any and all fans to provide feedback on which crews should be included, 32 collectives from different regions, styles, and generations have been selected—all vying for that #1 spot. When the final battle is over and the last vote is cast, you will have determined who is your Greatest Rap Crew of All Time.

In this celebration of hip hop and all of its talented crews, your vote decides the winner, so vote below.

Death Row Family vs. N.W.A. & The Posse | Round

Dr. Dre was instrumental in the gangsta rap movements of N.W.A. & The Posse and the Death Row Family. The Compton, California, legend was a linchpin to N.W.A. and a producer for all of the crew’s affiliated acts before acrimoniously leaving Eazy-E and Ruthless Records to launch Death Row. These squads were sprawling with talent, including would-be superstars like Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg

Members of these crews eventually beefed on wax and in real life during the early 1990s. There were also questions as to which crew o started the G-Funk sound, as well as reports that Snoop very nearly signed with Above The Law, instead of Death Row. However, these two entities eventually came together as Snoop teamed with N.W.A. members for music, while several artists, including DJ Quik, successfully mingled in both circles. The Death Row Family beat the Hieroglyphics crew to reach Round 2, while N.W.A. & The Posse stepped past the Soul Assassins. Now, only one of these collectives can reach Round 3. Your vote may decide the winner.


(defeated Hieroglyphics in Round 1)

Between 1992 and 1997, being stranded on Death Row was a great thing. Beyond just a label, Dr. Dre’s third crew (after World Class Wreckin’ Crew and N.W.A.) offered a clean slate creatively and a breeding ground for ill MCs needing the doctor’s treatment. In this space, Dre and his cohorts used the G-Funk sound to take authentic-minded gangsta rap to the mainstream. This ensemble was fresh and distinct. Snoop Doggy Dogg possessed a smooth delivery and a conversational flow, while The Narrator RBX sounded sinister and robotic. The Lady Of Rage exuded confidence on the mic, making her a standout, and Tha Dogg Pound quickly proved themselves as stars far beyond Snoop’s affiliates.

This movement also included off-label stars like Dre’s half-brother Warren G and DJ Quik. Dre’s “The Chronic” was a hot box of ensemble talent, a motif that carried over to “Doggystyle.” Songs like “Stranded On Death Row,” “Lyrical Gangbang,” and the vinyl rarity “Puffin’ On Blunts And Drankin’ Tanqueray” were domineering posse cuts with artists who brandished their Row affiliation like a fraternity and rapped together with explosive chemistry. Soundtracks offered places for collaboration and fellowship, including with Tupac Shakur, who joined the squad upon his 1995 prison release.

Five years into his career, Tupac shifted his sound and message to mesh with the Death Row ethos—evident in songs like “California Love” and “2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted.” Death Row albums and compilations topped the pop charts seven times during the 1990s. With Snoop Dogg recently acquiring Death Row, he’s been putting the gang back together—and everybody’s celebratin’.


(defeated Soul Assassins in Round 1)

N.W.A. & The Posse brought the boys from the ‘hood to the mainstream. Starting with 1987’s compilation of the same name, this crew contains the would-be group of Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, MC Ren, DJ Yella, and Arabian Prince. The collective also involves The D.O.C., who worked with his crew-mates before his acclaimed 1989 solo debut, “No One Can Do It Better,” featuring one of this collective’s most excellent posse cuts in “The Grand Finale.” Tragically, a car accident later that same year severed his vocal chords, cutting his rap career short. He continued utilizing his prodigious writing talents, penning some of hip hop’s greatest hits.

The gold-certified, Grammy-nominated J.J. Fad and Above The Law also added depth and range to this Greater Los Angeles-based squad. In less than three years, N.W.A. & The Posse made the city of Compton, California, one of the most famous places in hip hop and beyond. N.W.A. drew headlines and even the attention of the FBI with its song “F**k Tha Police,” long before incidents of police brutality were being caught on camera.

Years after its 1988 release, N.W.A.’s “Straight Outta Compton” debut rose from the ranks of independently released gangsta rap to the Library of Congress. Forever changed by the 1995 death of Eazy-E, members of this collective ultimately went in different directions. However, surviving members of this crew have reunited for several key moments and the production of their Oscar-nominated biopic “Straight Outta Compton” helped solidify its impact for a whole new generation of fans.

EDITOR's NOTE: Register for the sweepstakes for a chance to win the grand prize of (2) two tickets to the 2023 BET Awards, (2) two round-trip airline tickets, and a 2-night hotel stay on June 25. Up your chances to win by voting weekly.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID OUTSIDE OF THE 50 U.S. & D.C. AND WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C. who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Ends at 12:00 p.m. ET on June 9, 2023. Official Rules: Sponsor: Black Entertainment Television.

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