If you guys haven’t heard Ludacris and DJ Drama’s The Preview yet, I suggest you download it.
Luda’s on there spitting like he has something to prove over all types of sickstrumentals like Young Buck’s “Get Buck” and Prodigy’s “Keep It Thorough.” I think it’s fair to say The Preview deserves to be mentioned alongside Nas and DJ Green Lantern’s The Nigger Tape as one of the year’s best mixtapes. I’m sure Immortal Technique’s 3rd World deserves a mention, but I’m not done listening to it yet. But while peeping The Preview, I got to “Throw It Up” featuring Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne and it dawned on me. That track, quite possibly features the three greatest guest spitters of all time.
Plenty of dudes have had their cameo king moment, but when it’s all said and done, it comes right back to Ludacris and Busta Rhymes. Weezy deserves a mention amongst the G.O.A.T.s because, though he’s roughly on a three-year run on the cameo circuit, no one has ever put out so much material. But before crowning a cameo G.O.A.T, I thought it fair to highlight a few cats who gave this trio a run for their money at a point in time.
Canibus (1997-1999): Never has someone outshined so many lyricists. “4,3,2,1” (Method Man, Redman, DMX), “Beasts From The East” (Redman, Lost Boyz don’t count), “Fantastic Four” (Big Pun, Nore, Cam’Ron), “Gone Til November” RMX (Wyclef Jean), “No Airplay” (Wyclef Jean) “Making A Name For Ourselves” (Common), “Uni-4-Orm” (Ras Kass, Heltah Skeltah), “Hell” (Pharoahe Monch), “Desperados” (AZ, Nature), etc. The man was a beast. Notice, Foxy and Nas in their prime, didn’t jump on The Firm record. Jay-Z introduced Bis to Clef, but he didn’t sign him. He signed Memphis Bleek instead. Dudes were scared to jump on records with Bis.
[Blogger’s Note: Bis outshining Keith Murray on “Some Shit” is up for debate]
DMX (1997-1998): Similar to Bis, X had a great cameo run to set up his debut album, It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot. He continued appearing on records once his solo career took off, but not with the same frequency.
Big Pun (1997-1998): I remember thinking X and Bis were the cameo kings at the time until I read [in The Source] that he was the most sought after guest MC in 1998. I believe the number was 28 guest verses for that year.
Jay-Z (Y2K): Hov could easily be one of the G.O.A.T.’s, but he’s a tad more selective than members of our Big 3. Still, he’s had his moments. Outdoing Jadakiss, who is no slouch himself, on “Best Of Me” and “Fiesta” remixes comes to mind.
M.O.P (Y2K): Post-“Ante Up,” Billy Danze and Lil Fame hardened poppier acts like Fabolous, Diddy and even Boy Band L.F.O.
Bun B (2005): Spearheading his “Free Pimp C” campaign with countless cameos, including Beyonce’s “Check On It,” Bun’s buzz eventually lead to his solo album, Trill, earning a gold plaque.
Honorable Mentions: Method Man, Redman and Snoop Dogg have been consistent guest MCs throughout their careers, but they never came close to dethroning the kings. Andre 3000 is currently Hip-Hop’s best guest guest MC, but he just doesn’t do it enough.
Now, Weezy is the current cameo king hands down. Busta himself, never produced so many guest verses in such a short span. But only time will tell if Weezy can keep cranking the collabos for another 13 years. Probably not. As for Luda, he’s going 8 years strong, but it’s still pale in comparison to Bus’ 16-year tenure. Truth be told, Bus, Wayne and Luda have similar resumes. All have outshined a number of established artists, all have destroyed cameos to the point that they’re solo albums have been somewhat questioned. And all have worked with artists ranging from backpackers to pop singers. In the end, Bus has just been doing it for too long with little to no dip. The dungeon dragon destroyed A Tribe Called Quest’s “Scenario” and never looked back. It’s only right that Bus-A-Bus be crowned the collabo G.O.A.T. Anybody beg to differ?