Screwston, Texas

Rap Round Table: Wu-Tang vs. N.W.A. vs. A Tribe Called Quest

Some rappers happen to be thoughtful, intelligent people. Each week, Rocks Off will have some of them here discussing issues relevant to their culture.

This Week's Panel: Mic Skills, E.S.G., Chingo Bling, D-Risha, Kiotti, Mac, Yung Redd, Damien Randle, Yung Truth, Fat Tony

Not Invited: Whoever gave Are We There Yet? the green light.

This Week's Prompt: One of the more enjoyable byproducts of Ice-T's The Art of Rap documentary has been the conversations it ignited. One of the ones that landed in my inbox last week: Which rap group will be regarded as more important in 40 years, Wu-Tang, A Tribe Called Quest or N.W.A.?

Mic Skills: NWA because they brought gangsta rap to the mainstream, including the use of the word "nigga." [Also they] had three important members -- Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and Easy-E -- who went on to make solo hits and/or discover and introduce more talent.

Hip-hop heads will say Tribe or Wu, but ask a die hard hip-hop fan to name a song from any of the three; they'll say "Straight Outta Compton." Funny thing is, I bet Wu and Tribe members would say the same.

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Shea Serrano