In hip hop, fans and critics often marvel at and put a premium on the supreme soloists or groups who can craft classic songs and bodies of work, while remaining the central figure. However, the most electric moments in the culture occur when multiple emcees collaborate on a track with the sole purpose of asserting themselves as the most lyrically gifted by delivering an epic rhyme spill that outclasses the others. Throughout the years — the songs, which are generally referred to as “posse-cuts” — have become some of the most memorable in the genre’s history, as rap’s most legendary stars team up on wax and bring the most rabid of rap fans’ fantasies to reality.
In celebration of these historic songs and what they mean to the culture, REVOLT presents “Tale of the Tape,” our series where we break down the greatest posse-cuts of all-time and rank the verses from worst to first.
In our latest installment of the series, we’ll be revisiting 2Pac’s “Got My Mind Made Up” from the icon’s fourth studio album and Death Row debut, All Eyez On Me.
Produced by Daz Dillinger and 2Pac, himself, “Got My Mind Made Up” caught the attention of rap fans in large part due to it featuring guest verses from Redman and Method Man, during the height of the turmoil between the east and west coasts. In addition to Red and Meth, Dillinger and Kurupt also appear on the track, making the song an all out free-for-all with all five emcees contending for the top spot. Other songs from All Eyez On Me may get the fanfare. But, for those who put a premium on lyricism, dope flows and witty bars, “Got My Mind Made Up” is a selection that ranks among the greatest posse-cuts to ever come out of the west coast.
Without further adieu, check out our ranking of the verses on “Got My Mind Made Up” and be sure to vote for which artist you feel had the best bars.
5. Daz Dillinger
In addition to co-producing the track, Dillinger is the rhymer to let loose, as Tha Dogg Pound member reels off an intricate opening stanza. Likening his murderous rhyme skills to the wrath of Mongolian emperor Genghis Khan, Dillinger turns in a verse that serves as a reminder that whether he’s behind the boards or on the mic, Dillinger’s prowess is not to be questioned.
Standout Lyrics: “You find a MC like me who’s strong/Leavin’ motherfuckers aborted with no verbal support/And when I command the microphone, I get deadly as Khan, though/With a bear and a snake and a panda, I’m all those/Who can withstand the more power I gain?/And make it possible for me to drop a few to wreck yo’ brain.”
While originally not slated to appear on the track, 2Pac’s verse replaced Wu-Tang member Inspectah Deck’s and placed on the album. Grabbing the baton from Dillinger, 2Pac turns in an explosive follow-up verse that’s indicative of his lyrical aptitude. He dominates off the strength of his sheer presence and unbridled energy. However, as infectious as his verse is, 2Pac fails to capitalize on his homecourt advantage this go-round, resulting in the de facto host settling for runner-up status.
Standout Lyrics: “So mandatory my elevation, my lyrics like orientation/So you can be more familiar with the nigga you facin’/We must be patient, nothin’ better than communication/Known to damage and highly flammable, like gas stations/Sorry, I left that ass waitin’, no more procrastination/Give up to fate and get that ass shakin’.”
As Tha Dogg Pound’s chief lyrical component, Kurupt’s knack for giving scene-stealing performances on posse-cuts had already been well-documented when he participated in this particular sparring session. The third artist to appear on the track, Kurupt comes out the gate firing on all cylinders, as the bi-coastal talent gets surgical with heady couplets and metaphors. Delivering a verse that speaks to his reputation as one of the deadliest spitters in Death Row’s stable of artists, Kurupt rises to the occasion on this memorable selection.
Standout Lyrics: “I wonder if my terrifyin’ tactics of torturin’ MCs/Shows my heart’s as cold as the tundra/Electrifyin’ like thunder, I’m just too much/Rough and raw with that motherfuckin’ poisonous touch/I’m an MC with lyrics that’s the fuckin’ Bombay/You got ten steps before instant death like Bai Mei/My rhymes’ll leave a mark on your mind/As the deadly virus spread through your head like Sand Palm.”
His verse being the last to appear on the song, Redman had the tough task of following up a murderous row of lyricists, but also the advantage of making the final impression, which the Brick City native capitalizes on. Renowned as one of the more entertaining artists in rap, Redman lives up to the hype once again, turning in a riveting verse full of standout moments that leaves listeners with a screw face. While the Def Squad member gets busy with a barrage of zany couplets, his rhyme spill is slightly edged out by one particular costar, spoiling what otherwise would’ve been a landslide victory.
Standout Lyrics: “Ayo, lyrical gat spittin’ the criminal tactics/Non-believers get my dick and genitals backwards/Let’s face it, there’s no replacement/Taste this mad underground basement shit I’m laced with/Avalanche on your whole camp when I’m splifted/Funk Doctor, who? Spock, bitch, don’t get it twisted/I got connects like Federal Express/To get the fresh package of bless the dogs can’t fetch.”
1. Method Man
Revisionist history may lead some to believe that only certain emcees ruled New York City rap with an iron fist during the mid ’90s. But, that would mean ignoring the monster that Method Man was during his prime. Emerging as the breakout star of the Wu-Tang Clan and achieving platinum status with his debut album, Tical, Meth was arguably the most formidable artist in the game when it came to dropping guest verses with the Shaolin native testing his mettle against the likes of The Notorious B.I.G., Spice 1 and his Wu-Tang brethren. In 1996, Method Man would lend his talents to this posse-cut where he absolutely slaughtered the guest rappers on it, turning in a highlight reel of a verse. Inflicting damage from the opening bar to the last line, Meth outpaces his peers in seemingly effortless fashion, earning him the satisfaction of having the song’s best verse, as well as the bragging right of beating both Pac and Biggie during their prime.
Standout Lyrics: Fuck you losers/While you fake jacks, I makes maneuvers/Like Hitler stickin’ up (Jews) with German (Lugers)/The mister Meth-Tical from Staten Isle/Will be back after this message, don’t touch the dial/Rarely do you see an MC out for justice/Got my gun powder and my musket—blaow!/Melons get swellings, I paint mental pictures like Magellan/Half of my clan’s repeat felons.”
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