There’s something undeniably pure about a one-rapper/one-producer album. Flash back to the days of Gang Starr and Pete Rock & CL Smooth, when cohesion was preferred over the grab-bag approach and LPs knocked with a unified sound. Fortunately, it’s far from a lost practice. North Carolina instrumentalist (and guest vlogger this week) 9th Wonder knows the deal, having constructed memorable records of this vein with Buckshot and Murs; his latest entry with David Banner, Death of a Pop Star, is right around the corner, as well, with a November 9 release date. That’ll be a month after underground production veteran Illmind unveils of his Live from the Tape Deck collaboration with Brooklyn lyricist Skyzoo on October 5.

Out on the West Coast, DJ Muggs has also adhered this one-on-one blueprint. In 2005, he teamed up with Wu-Tang’s GZA/Genius for the dynamite Grandmasters, followed by 2007’s Legend of the Mask and the Assassin with Sick Jacken and 2008’s Planet Asia-starring Pain Language. Today, Muggs is back at it alongside NYC’s Ill Bill on Kill Devil Hills, a dark journey into a world full of gunplay and nightmarish conspiracy theories. For lovers of hardcore hip-hop, it’ll leave you wanting more from Muggs, which has our brains scrambling.

XXL combed through the Soul Assassin’s list of past collaborators to pick the six MCs most worthy of an all-Muggs-produced album, giving an example of each pairing’s chemistry for argument’s sake. You guys like arguing, right?

KURUPT
The Dogg Pound spitter is no stranger to working with just one producer. For starters, the majority of his DPG albums are scored by groupmate Daz, but there’s also last year’s Blaqkout, which found Young Gotti rocking over all DJ Quik beats—the result was one of 2009’s most slept-on discs. Kurupt is a beast when placed above rugged tracks, so locking him in a studio with Muggs seems about as foolproof as dream rap-teams can get. Just see the Cali rapper’s two contributions to Muggs’s 2000 compilation Soul Assassins II, “Armageddon (Interlude)” and “When the Pain Inflict.”

DJ Muggs feat. Kurupt  “Armageddon (Interlude)” [from Soul Assassins II, 2000]

KOOL G RAP
You could take this as an excuse to demand a new Kool G Rap album of any kind. Yet, after 2008’s so-so Half a Klip (the one that featured a chorus sung by Haylie Duff…seriously), the Queens icon is in need of a proper comeback. It’s a safe bet that Muggs wouldn’t let anyone with the last name Duff (unless it was a beer) near his studio. A full-length’s worth of G Rap’s killer bars and some vintage soul-assassinating production could make for one of the hardest LPs ever. Bring it on.

DJ Muggs feat. Kool G Rap “Real Life” [from Soul Assassins II, 2000]

GOODIE MOB
After the Atlanta quartet’s successful reunion show last September, longtime Dungeon Family supporters have been chomping at the bit for an official Goodie Mob reunion LP. Sadly, with Cee-Lo ready to drop another solo album, a new GM record is a way’s off, not to mention far from certain. Perhaps something outside the group’s norm could inspire them to reassemble. Sure, an all Organized Noize-produced Goodie Mob long-player is more ideal, but give the Mob’s sole Muggs-backed joint a listen here and tell us you wouldn’t welcome 10 or 11 more songs of its kind.

DJ Muggs feat. Goodie Mob “Decisions, Decisions” [from Soul Assassins, Chapter 1, 1997]

MC EIHT
Similar to Kool G Rap, MC Eiht is in need of a musical resurrection, and who better to channel his old gangsta side than Muggs? They have the Cali connection, and the Compton rapper delivered one of the highlights off Soul Assassins, Chapter 1 (“Heavy Weights”). The lyrical force of We Come Strapped-era Eiht is just waiting for Muggs to treat it like Dr. Frankenstein. That brings an album title to mind, actually: It’s Alive!

DJ Muggs feat. MC Eiht “Heavy Weights” [from Soul Assassins, Chapter 1, 1997]

SEAN PRICE
The obvious choice for a one-producer Sean P album would be 9th Wonder, of course, since the NC beatsmith contributed in bulk to the Heltah Skeltah member’s two solo efforts. But we’re more intrigued by what we’ve heard on the new Ill Bill LP, particularly a joint called “Trouble Shooters” that boasts a typically fire verse from Jesus Price Supastar.

DJ Muggs & Ill Bill feat. Sean Price, Sick Jacken and O.C. “Trouble Shooters” [from Kill Devil Hills, 2010]

XZIBIT
X-to-the-Z and Muggs have plenty of history together. The Los Angeles-based rapper-actor’s debut, 1996’s At the Speed of Life, included the Muggs-track single “The Foundation;” four years later, Xzibit returned the favor on the Soul Assassins II heater “You Better Believe It,” also featuring King Tee. Both tracks still receive heavy rotation around these parts—a joint album from these two would fair just as well.

DJ Muggs feat. Xzibit and King Tee “The Foundation” [from At the Speed of Life, 1996]

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