Who Stole the Show? – Overlooked Guest MCs Stand Up

Back in the days when I was just freelancing for XXL, I interviewed stic.man, one half of dead prez, about his book The Art of Emcee-ing. Really interesting guy to speak with—he’s full of sharp insight and candid expression.

One point in particular that he made, though, has always rang bells in my head, especially when I glance at a new album track list. I can’t recall his exact quote, but his sentiment was this—you can tell a lot about an album’s artistic creativity by reading the song titles on the CD’s back cover.

I agree to a certain extent, just not completely in terms of song names reflecting an LP’s artistic merit. Jedi Mind Tricks are the kings of creative titles (look no further than “Razorblade Salvation” or “The Executioner’s Dream”), but Stoupe’s ferocious production is rarely paired with anything other than Vinnie Paz’s incessant death threats. Nevertheless, stic.man’s thought still comes into play; even though JMT’s “Tibetan Black Magicians” might offer little lyrically, that title is tough to bypass. It triggers curiosity, at least.

Yesterday’s post covering my favorite soundtrack cuts brought stic.man’s philosophy to mind, specifically from the inclusion of Wu-All Stars “Soul in the Hole.” The first MC on that track is Killa Sin, who to me is the strongest member of the Wu-Tang offshoot group Killarmy.

What’s the connection here? Seeing Killa Sin’s name labeled as a guest star on past Wu albums always forced me to skip directly to said song, or songs. Though he’s pretty much missing in action nowadays, there was a time when the Killa Bee in question would massacre WTC records, from RZA’s “La Rhumba” to Ghostface’s “Strawberry.” His flow was, and I’d hope still is, incredibly rugged, slathering concrete atop a nimble flow and witty bars.

A song featuring Killa Sin could’ve been some lazy ish like “I’m So Hood” and I would’ve no doubt approached the track with extreme anticipation. (Bonus Mention: Killa Sin’s brief yet epic verse on Bronze Nazareth’s “The Bronzeman” is worthy of a standing ovation).

Using Killa Sin as the catalyst, here are three of my top frequent-guests, the consistent standouts within rap crews that have long inspired me to skip right to their album contributions. The format is as follows—one example of each rapper’s ability to avoid being bodied on a more prolific person’s track, and then a solo joint from each, to prove that they’re capable of more than one verse at a time.

These are based on personal preference, so, by all means, show love to your own regular-guests-who-always-stole-the-show in the comments section. I’ll start with… Killa Sin. —Matt Barone

KILLA SIN
(Wu-Tang affiliate; member of Wu-backed Killarmy)

“Strawberry” (from Ghostface’s Bulletproof Wallets)

“Have Mercy” (Killa Sin solo record, with La the Darkman on the hook; from Mathematics’s Love, Hell or Right)

  • Rob Markman

    AZ- everytime i hear him on a Nas track i always skip to that!

  • http://xxlmag.com Ben

    Killa Sin is dope, as far as a dope guest mc’s I can’t think of none, I’m blank, wait Redman.

  • beaver

    AZ..all i gotta say.

  • mistashonuffwill

    how about twista? he’s managed to get shine on everybody elses songs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/maxprofit Max Profit

      Fo Sho!!!

  • 6ix

    AZ hands down but at the same time in my opinion I think Luda is one of those guys that I won’t buy his album but kills it as a feat. artist. Also I can’t forget Elzhi from Slum Villa. That kid gives me the chills when he spits. His deliv is bonkers!

  • The real chris

    Point blank its luda, theres a few other guys to but when it come to guest mc’s luda top them all.no if’s and buts about it

  • http://xxlmag.com jon

    yeah that boy AZ is a fool

  • ee bubble

    Luda always kills a guest appearance, adn joe scudda is wack in my opinion, nothing special there.

  • alderman j

    The whole time i was reading this i thought about JOE SCUDDA, he is the perfect fit for this article, and HELL RELL from DIPLOMATS!!!!

  • corbin

    Scarface!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Face steals it every time.

  • Sincere

    Luda always shows up on a guest verse. Rappers should stop trying to get Em on there songs cause at this point it’s not even fair. Busta early in his career (scenario, flava in ya ear, hit em high, etc.) Canibus always used to murder a guest appearance ask Uncle L. And Kanye as of late might eff around and murder you on your own shit. Nice call on killa sin that killa army tape got abused in my walkman. LOL. I miss my Walkman anyone still got one i got some $$$ for u.

  • Chuck Vegas

    Bun B, hands down. He’s featured on mad songs and kills it everytime.

  • DJ

    Inspekta Dek, Keith Murray, Sean Price

  • DJ

    Keith Murray, Inspekta Dek,

  • Ray U.K

    Busta and Fabolous everytime!

  • DIZZLEMAN SR..

    Chaundon, Bun B, and Killer Mike(see The Whole World by Outkast Feat. Killer Mike.)

  • Jhon da Analyst

    Ras Kass…..

  • Slymm

    This is easy.

    Bun B – When you make Jay-Z go back and re-write his shit, you’re not to be fucked wit.

    Luda – Consistently murders people on their own shit I.E. Made You Look Remix

    Andre 3000 – You can always expect once Dre shows you he’s gonna clown. No if ands or buts about it.

    Lil’ Wayne – Love him or Hate him if his name is on a track I’m gonna fast forward to see how off the wall he comes.

    Honorable Mentions: Twista, Killer Mike, MJG, Eminem, Big Boi.

    • oksfinest

      co-signed with all of this…

      adding Brotha Lynch Hung and Too Short for my list…

    • mav

      cut it out jada and nas his real remix verse were both better than ludas even though he was hot

      • Slymm

        Sorry homeboi, but it’s true. Luda had the best verse on that, but that’s wut expect from him. This takes nothing away from Jada and Nas, but Luda jumped in with 2 feet and rode it.

  • hate

    AZ been lettin me down recently considering the fact that “A.W.O.L” was so fuckin dope that i figured he had a classic left in him.

    “undeniable” was fire too.

    but his latest guest spots, mixtape tracks, and the majority of “g.o.d.” and “legendary” were only average at best in my opinion.

    killa sin is ill

    i always thought armageddon was incredible.but i recently saw a new video for some bullshit he has out now. it’s pretty wack.

    and joe scuda is NOT lyrical enough to be holdin shit down for a caucasion mc. i hate how so many great beats stay gettin wasted on his slow, lazy, uninspired ass.its like he only there to fill the white rapper quota

  • NAPTOWNNUISANCE

    Man I have a few who usually kill it every time on guest verses, Eminem first and for most its no debatin it, Ice Cube, B Real, Yes Bun B and yeah Scarface too. 2pac has had some very memorable guest spots also, Richie Rich used to be a real good one from the west that got slept on but had some nice verses on others shit.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/therealmaxprofit Max Profit

    Nice!! I almost forgot about Killa Sin

    Other overlooked guest MC’s

    EJ Tha Witchdoctor (Dungeon Family)

    Big Gee (Boyz n da Hood)

  • latino heat

    Jadakiss. his albums might be ass juice but when i see his name on another rappers album i know he’s gonna kill it.

    cosign Killa Sin and Armageddon. according to Wiki, Killa Sin has been in jail for a minute. hopefully he’ll come back with that fire. i found an official web site for Armageddon a couple weeks ago and it says he finally has a solo album coming in May. i hope it dosen’t disappoint cause i been checking for dude for years.

    • http://www.bboycult.com $yk!

      Real type, my homie used to live by Tony Sunshine over on East Tremont in the BX. He went bar for bar w/Armageddon. Roasted Arm with a quickness. Joey Crack witnessed the defeat from the car.

      Matt how can you forget Killa Priest?

      Killa Priest>>>Killa Sin

      Lord Superb>>>>Killa Sin

      60 Second Assassin>>>Killa Sin

      • General

        C’mon Syk you need to quit wit the NY bullshit…

        Em steals every song he guests on along with Kanye, and please everybody don’t forget the man MC Breed…

        Midwest rules stealin the verses…

        • http://www.bboycult.com $yk!

          Oh my bad for speaking about where I was born and raised and created my seeds and lived basically my whole life. I should know better.

  • oskamadison

    I feel y’all on Killa Sin but what about killa Priest?? Dude had bars for days. Also, keepin’ it Wu, Meth’s dude Street Life held it down on a few Wu joints on the low (Deadly Melody, Hell’s Wind Staff from Wu-Tang Forever and don’t forget Semi-Autmatic Metal Jacket from the High School High sdtk. I think I screwed up the title.) Also, Young Zee from the Outsidaz (The Fugees’ Cowboys, Redman’s From The Bricks) wil catch you out there too if you sleep.

  • anutha_level

    in no particular order…
    bun
    luda
    devin tha dude
    3000
    common
    black thought
    reggie noble

    • Slymm

      I forgot about Devin the Dude. HIGHLY SLEPT ON.

  • hiphopdoc

    don’t forget sticky fingaz on remember me!

  • http://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM TAJH

    JADA STYLES BEANIE SIGEL NAS LIL WAYNE DRAKE BIG BOI KILLE IM SO HOOD REMIX ROSS DOIN HIS THING ANGELS VERSE

  • Blueshound2000

    My favorite guest emcee is Saafir. He totally outshined Casual on the That Shit. I usually like his guest spots better than his own joints.

  • Beantown Reppin

    Let’s not forget jigga. I mean it’s a little unfair because no one is on his level on a consistent basis but 99% of the songs he’s featured on he has the standout verse. No question.

  • Lowedwn

    Keith Murray
    RBX
    Cool Breeze
    Kurupt
    Ludacris
    Busta
    Eminem
    Jada

  • LL

    Kardinal Offishals verse on Talib Kweli’s “Focus” tape was one of the illest verses I have ever heard…

  • yeah

    Crooked I is definitely a name I’ve been checking for for a long time now. Also E-40, they both killed it on the “we pop” remix.

  • http://j-mace.deviantart.com Shawty J

    Ludacris, Kanye, Eminem, Wayne, Andre 3000. If any of them do a guest appearance on someone else song, chances are I’ll be checking for them specifically.

    Andre 3000 – doesn’t rap as often as he should, but when he does put together a verse it’s very memorable and will make me download the record whether I like the rest of it or not.

    Lil Wayne – I enjoy Wayne’s verses on other people’s records more than I do on his own records, that goes for mixtape freestyles too.

    Eminem – Eminem is the king of show stealing verse. I actually question the logic of artist letting Em do guest verses on their album. I swear after Eminem raps I literally forget the rest of the song.

    Jay-Z – Almost as good as Em at show stealing verses. I especially liked the guest verses he did while he was “retired”.

    Ludacris & Kanye West – I don’t necessarily go checking for their guest appearances, but when I do hear a record that either of them guested on they usually have the most memorable verse.

  • El Tico Loco

    I agree on all posts but what about Ghostface, Elzhi, Kool G Rap whenever he’s around, Rah Digga, Da Brat, Joell Ortiz, Chino XL, Crooked I, Sick Jakken, Necro, Ill Bill (if you haven’t them heard on anybody elses shit catch up), Young Dro can surprise you at times too, and DMX (even if they may fallen off or fallen on deaf ears all these cats had their moments)

    • Lowedwn

      co-sign on Young Dro & Ortiz

  • mav

    jadakiss is probably the best guest emcee did a track wit everybody except mister shakur

  • TITTAYNICK

    no, this ones gonna make u feel me
    golden arms in triumph. period.
    and elzhi in glow.
    best guest mc ever is AZ

  • allhiphop>xxlmag

    t pain, akon, gucci mane, nelly furtado, young buck, pharrel, 2pac, lil jon, devinem, & polow da don

  • The187Worm

    CROOKED I, T-ROCK, LUDACRIS, EMINEM, YABOY

  • sATaLyte

    jesus christ you guys…overlooked MC’s on guest verses not LEGENDARY MC’s on guest verses…

    Whatever happened to Skip from Juve, Skip, and Wacko UTP joints?

    That dude was heelarious.

  • http://www.xxlblocktalk.com/INDOE INDOE

    Snoop on “The Chronic’ as a guest he crushed it . Inspektah Deck on Wu joints cuz’ on his own he proved he could not hold down a whole LP .

  • Jerm

    My fave show stealer MCs, would probably be Eminem, Luda and A3K…

    Luda especially on Made You Look Remix, Throw It Up, Im So Hood Remix, the list goes on…

    My most memorable verses would be Eminem on Renegade…the rhyme scheme and alliteration on that first verse was ridiculous, while maintaining a message. Also, Andre 3000 on Lloyd’s You Remix, and Throw Some D’s remix as well…He is just too good.

  • A MONEY

    JADA HANDZ DOWNN

  • D East
  • gerald n. the birdman

    KURUPT

    • PDX DOE

      Co-Sign K-U-R-U-P-T…One of the last West Coast OGs and always 100 on a guest spot. Shout outs to another OG from the East Coast …AZ.

  • http://xxlmag.com yunggee

    wow. nobody metioned Pun. killa sin used 2 murder shit too. sean price dums down sumtimes and still outshines niggas. saigon, termanology, kool g rap, az, x1, sticky, reggie, meth, busta, elzhi, nino bless, crooked i, royce, joe budden, joell ortiz, shyheim back in the day the list goes on.. 2 many 2 say.

  • http://xxlmag.com yunggee

    yooooo. ya remember shabazz on dat gravediggaz shit. damn he murdered dat shit…..

  • hip

    ludacris hands down. All I have to say is “Phatty Girl” “IM SO HOOD” “One Minute Man” and ect.

  • http://xxl jg

    soulja boy haha

  • Anonymous

    how bout Em??????????????????????????????????????? killed jay on his own song! forever?????????????? o and how bout lil wanyes new joint? Em killed that toooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  • caino

    Damn l had a list then l read peoples comments and it just reminds you on people l forgot! lol

    But here is mine:

    Luda
    Em
    Killa Priest
    Redman
    Andre 3000
    Bun B
    early Busta

  • esco702

    PPPPPPPPP aka Sean Price aka Ruck that boi always holds it down

    Elzhi kids go and do your homework if he isnt on your list

    Phonte son is NICE.

  • Mr. Wattz

    Ross, anyone? LOw-Key, He sounds more focused on your “record” than his own! 4GeTiT!

    Say It Like Me, It sounds cooler!

  • Jubei Kibigami

    I agree with everyone you picked, Fam. I was happy to see that somebody didn’t forget Armeggedon. ‘My Perogative’ is STILL my favorite joint on Fat Joe’s CD.

  • Chris S

    i have never heard someone get out-classed on a song as bad as Wale did on 2nd Time Around. Brother Ali completely tore him a new one

    *Eminem should not be included in any rap discussion because he’s the best at everything.

    on the other hand, Fat Joe has some of the worst guest verses i’ve ever heard

  • http://xxlmag LB

    REDMAN AND LUDA handsdown
    4,3,2,1 STOMP

  • Fireforreal

    Jadakiss always does his thang when he’s a featured artist But I agree AZ always goes in on another person’s shit. Look at all the joints he did with Nas From illmatic to Doe or die,it was written,Pieces of a man,Stillmatic,Aziatic and even the joint so serious that was never offically released. He murrrrrrrrrrrrrdered Nas. The only mc to do it on a track with Nas. Oh yeah that nigga Andre 3 stacks. He makes me consider getting a cd that he’s on even if I’m not feeling the artist at all.

  • Fireforreal

    Oh yeah. Canibus from 1997-2000 then he started getting weird lol