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 10. UGK



 9. Fugees


 8. Salt 'N Pepa



 7. EPMD



 6. A Tribe Called Quest



 5. Wu-Tang Clan



 4. Outkast



 3. Public Enemy



 2. N.W.A



 1. Run-DMC



  Back to Intro



  Honorable Mention



  The Brain Trust speaks


No group can be compared to the Wu-Tang Clan. RZA's production is incredible. I can't see how they wouldn't be #1.
                 — Eric, 24
                   Buffalo, NY

Got a problem with our choices? Share your own top 10.





  The Greatest Hip-Hop MCs Of All Time



  The Greatest Hip-Hop Albums Of All Time




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We're at it again! We raised hell and raised each other's ire in the third of our ongoing series of Greatest of All Time Hip-Hop debates.

A lot of you know this drill: MTV News' hip-hop brain trust converges in a studio and all of a sudden, smoke begins coming out of people's nostrils, voices are raised (along with the roof), best friends start insulting each other — and that's during the pleasant moments.

Two years ago we debated and came up with our list of the 10 Greatest Hip-Hop Albums of All-Time. Last year, we stepped it up a notch and decided on a list of the 10 Greatest Solo MCs of All Time. And while we're still hearing from you online and in the streets about our first two sit-downs (Jay-Z even mentioned the greatest-MCs list in Beyoncé's "Deja Vu"), the brain trust had to go for the trifecta. There are many categories we could have gone with, but ultimately we felt that it was best to determine the 10 Greatest Hip-Hop Groups of All Time.

It's only right. In this day and age, when the number of groups is growing smaller because of egos, greed or plain old circumstance, it makes sense to look through the annals and celebrate those who exemplified a unified front (well, before some of them broke up), set precedents and created music that literally changed the world. And as it was with our first two lists, coming up with a top 10 was no easy feat.

The first step was settling on criteria. We agreed that we would only count groups that included at least two MCs. So duos like Gang Starr or Eric B. & Rakim — which included one rapper and a DJ — aren't eligible, but tandem-teams like N.W.A or even Kid N' Play are.

Next up was the mathematical list. Everyone submitted a top 10, with each #1 pick getting 10 points, the #2 getting nine points, and so on. When compiling the totals, once again it was obvious that the numbers didn't add up to what our hearts were telling us.

While the brain trust was unanimous on six or seven groups making the top 10, there were numerous contenders for the last few slots — and oh, the drama that came with figuring those out! Three brain trust members were so incensed over certain groups being left off the list that they wrote dissent pieces (which we'll publish next week) — but there's no question that the decision not to include the Beastie Boys in the top 10 was the most controversial. It got so heated that one of us even walked out, before being coaxed to return. It's all love, though: That's when the fun started. Because as we've learned from lists past, placement is key — just ask all the fans of Biggie and Tupac who still approach us about them not being ranked the greatest MC of all time. Ask the artists who still call us about why their album was not in our top 10. Get ready to get your feathers ruffled: While no list is definitive, here is what nine experts who live, breathe and love hip-hop every day came up with. And we're sure you'll tell us what you think ...

Here we go again ...


NEXT: The Geto Boys' Scarface says of the 10th greatest group: 'I think music has a note that you can hit and make the whole world love it, and that's kind of what happened when [this group] hit.' ...
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