M.O.P. always makes the short list when hip-hop's best duos are discussed. Known for their hard beats laced with steroid deliveries, the duo has birthed some of hip-hop's most memorable street anthems throughout the course of their 17-year career. Fresh off tour, Billy Danze and Lil Fame chopped it up with XXL about their Top 5 MC duos of all time in no particular order. --Dan Reagans
Run-D.M.C. is just amazing, dude. The style that Run had was just ridiculous. Even though lyrically he was dope too but he was more style. Like, my pops was a good dude and my brother was a great dude, but I wanted to be Run. Just because of the style this dude had. When them dudes came together lyrically they actually took hip-hop music to a whole 'nother level. First to go gold, first to win a Grammy, first to go platinum that's amazing, I don't think anybody will be ever be able to top that. [Editor's Note: DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince won the first rap Grammy in 1989 for "Parents Just Don't Understand."]
Incredible, they had a fly style. We didn't even know where they were from, but it was just the way they came across with the going back and forth flow. They wasn't loud, they wasn't rowdy, they were just two cool dudes. They put together all the "Jane" episodes, and all the other stuff they put together lyrically were dope. I'm not sure if we'll ever find groups like these again.
Smiff-n-Wessun was just incredible. They rapped like they were high as hell and if you wanted to enjoy their music you just had to get high as hell and just sit down in the basement and just rock with Smiff-n- Wessun. They had big records and the really represented for Brooklyn which was crazy. I don't think that sound will ever be duplicated again. You gotta be in the moment to make that really happen and Smiff-n-Wessun captured that moment. Great '90s hip-hop.
You cannot front on Mobb. We came into the game together and I watched them grow. I watched them go through a lot. They always put themselves in a winning position. I don't know whether they were setting up to get like that or whether it was just faith. You know when "Shook Ones" came on dudes just lost it. Even though these dudes kept it grimy and real Queensbridge ish, and real street dudes was going platinum and selling a lot of records. I'm not sure about the touring or the shows, but as far as the records go Hav was killing 'em on the beats and Prodigy was an animal on the lyrics. Hell of a group.
Wow...well Imma start at the top, M.O.P. [laughs]. I gotta mention MOP because I stand back and look... I know what MOP is, like we're not a rap group. Man it's amazing that two kids from the world that we come from can get together and make magic, and the way we feed off each other...man it's like the way we build records I've never even seen or heard of it being done that way. So hats off to M.O.P. Lil Fame and Billy Danze [laughs]