The best MCs have their own unique cadence and rhyming style, but when the right ones come together for a song or even an entire album, that’s when something special can happen. A rap duo that has the proper chemistry to trade verses — or even lines — back and forth is like a perfectly trained tag team who knows each other’s strengths and weaknesses inside and out. Whatever one rapper lacks, the other makes up for it. As a result, the two are able to elevate each other to higher levels than they can reach as solo artists — and it shows in their music.
There are numerous examples over the years, whether it’s classic groups like Run DMC and EPMD in the ’80s, or UGK, OutKast, Capone-N-Noreaga, Mobb Deep, Black Star, and Method Man and Redman in the ’90s. Let’s not forget the pairings of Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah, Jadakiss and Styles P., and Eminem and Royce Da 5’9″, either, or recent rap darlings Run the Jewels. It’s a pointless exercise to try and list them all, because there are so many and there’s no real “right” answer.
That being said, you can’t go wrong with Raekwon and Ghostface Killah. Only Built 4 Cuban Linx and Ironman are two of my favorite albums of all time, while the Chef and Pretty Toney always show great chemistry on Wu-Tang records as well.
Who’s your favorite rap duo? Sound off in the comments below.