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Article Aug 20 2019 Written by

Battle Of The Posse Cuts: Self Destruction vs. We’re All In The Same Gang

Self Destruction

featuring KRS One, Mc Delite, Kool Moe Dee, MC Lyte, Daddy O & Wise, D-Nice, Ms. Melodie, Doug E. Fresh, Just-Ice, Heavy D, Fruitkwan, Chuck D & Flavor Flav


We’re All In The Same Gang

featuring King Tee, Body & Soul, Def Jeff, Tone-Loc, Above The Law, Ice T, Dr. Dre & Ren, J.J. Fad, Young MC, Digital Underground, Oaktown 3.5.7., and Eazy E

There aren’t many songs in Hip Hop that embody “posse cuts” more than these two. I can only think of one, Ice-T’s What You Wanna Do? But these two, they are much more widely known. On one hand, the artists were taking a public stand against violence and on the other hand, uniquely representing their region. Almost like an East Coast vs. West Coast rap battle without the declaration of not having a producer all up in the videos.

As a regular reader you know, these battles are subjective and follow three rules. The competing songs:

  • must feature at least three different MCs;
  • cannot be from the same crew; and
  • will be from a similar region (today’s region is the Hip Hop nation).

The battles are also scored like a relay:

0 – Maybe y’all should have just sang the hook instead of this verse;

1 – Okay, we hear you;

2 – Whoa, that was nice!; and

3 – DAAANNNNGGG, I’ll be repeating those bars all day!

Lead-off Leg: KRS-One vs. King Tee

Truly, this is just my opinion; yet, it seemed to me that the Stop the Violence Movement was a real thing while the West Coast All-Stars was in response to the popularity of Self-Destruction. The catalyst of the Stop The Violence Movement is the Blast Master KRS-One, who sets the table with:

Well, today’s topic, self-destruction

It really ain’t the rap audience that’s bugging

It’s one or two suckers, ignorant brothers

Trying to rob and steal from one another

You get caught in the mid

So to crush the stereotype here’s what we did

We got ourselves together

So that you could unite and fight for what’s right

Not negative ’cause the way we live is positive

We don’t kill our relatives

Whereas King Tee opens with:

It’s straight up madness everywhere I look

Used to be a straight a student, now he’s a crook

Robbing people just to smoke or shoot up

Used to have a crew cut, now he’s a pooh-butt

Dropped out of school and he joins the neighborhood gang

Hanging on the streets selling ‘caine

To his own people

Now when I say people I mean color

You a stupid mother-

More legendary than his verse is the effort and vision KRS-One had to exert to make this historical milestone happen. Yet, with both MCs, they are simply setting us up for what to expect.

KRS One -1  King Tee – 1

Stop The Violence Movement– 1  West Coast All-Stars 1

Second Leg: MC Delite vs. Body & Soul

MC Delite was a part of the Stetsasonic crew, who … well I put it like this, if naming all the members of the Wu-Tang is a test of one’s Hip Hop fandom; then naming all of Stetsasonic must make one a Hall of Fame Hip Hop Head or maybe just old. Either way, Delite keeps it simple:

Pop pop pop

One is shot, who’s to blame?

Headlines, front page, and rap’s the name

MC Delite here to state the bottom line

That black-on-black crime was way before our time

His point then was clearly-stated. Nowadays, when political talking heads mention “Black on Black” crime we know they are trying to divert the message to something else. The majority of victims of crime are victimized by someone who looks like them; yet, no one uses the term White on White crime or Asian on Asian crime. That wasn’t what Delite meant so let me get back to the rhymes.

Body & Soul serves up some feminine flavor with:

Sisters, since we are the mothers of this earth

It’s time we start being good mothers from the birth

Of our children, no time for sleeping

Teach them to fight and win for the right reason

It’s your time, it’s your life, live it

Proud to be black, young and gifted

Lifted by the knowledge and taking the right route

Gang violence needs to be wiped out

The maternal perspective gets one up on Delite.

MC Delite -1  Body & Soul – 2

Stop The Violence Movement– 2  West Coast All-Stars 3

Third Leg: Kool Moe Dee vs. Def Jeff

One challenge with posse cuts is maintaining the uniqueness of one’s voice. I think in some cases, voices become blended together into one hodgepodge of a song. The best MCs stand out amid the crowd, just like Kool Moe Dee:

Took a brother’s life with a knife as his wife

Cried ’cause he died a trifling death

When he left his very last breath

Was “I slept so watch your step”

Back in the sixties our brothers and sisters were hanged

How could you gang-bang?

I never ever ran from the Ku Klux Klan

And I shouldn’t have to run from a black man

Kool Moe Dee stood out with flow. The beat even changes up a bit when he spits. Def Jeff on the other hand, maintains the topic but doesn’t really stand out from the others:

One and the same

Everyone came in the same chains

Caught with the same aim

Brain games and names changed

To protect the innocent by-stander

Lies, slander and the master-planner

Kool Moe Dee -2  Def Jeff- 1

Stop The Violence Movement– 4  West Coast All-Stars 4

Fourth Leg: MC Lyte vs. Tone Loc

Lyte not only adds feminine flavor, but her own unique voice allows her to follow Kool Moe Dee without missing a beat:

Funky fresh dressed to impress, ready to party

Money in your pocket, dying to move your body

To get inside you paid the whole ten dollars

Scotch taped with a razor blade taped to your collar

Leave the guns and the crack and the knives alone

MC Lyte’s on the microphone

Bum rushing and pushing, snatching and taxing

I cram to understand why brothers don’t be maxing

There’s only one disco, they’ll close one more

You ain’t guarding the door, so what you got a gun for?

Do you rob the rich and give to the poor?

Speaking of unique voices, Tone Loc may have one the most unique of all. Almost like blues legend Howlin’ Wolf spitting the rhymes but with a little more cool:

Now as a youth I used to get my bang on

And on the ave get my part-time slang on

Doing time for me was no joke though

They knew I was crazy, so they labelled me Loco

Khakis creased, golf hat, feelin sporty

Low ridin and tossin up a forty

Thinkin in my mind that no one could handle us

The downest brothers ever touched Los Angeles

He ain’t topping Lyte with those bars.

MC Lyte -2  Tone Loc- 1

Stop The Violence Movement– 6  West Coast All-Stars 5

Fifth Leg: Daddy O & Wise vs. Above The Law

Daddy O and Wise are also a part of the Stetsasonic crew and deliver their bars in tandem as if they had been doing so for years:

Straight from the mouth of Wise and Daddy-O

Do a crime, end up in jail and gotta go

‘Cause you could do crime and get paid today

And tomorrow you’re behind bars in the worst way

Far from your family, ’cause you’re locked away

Now tell me, do you really think crime pays?

Scheming on taking what your brother had?

(You little sucker) you’re talkin’ all that jazz

In a previous match-up, I referred to my love for Above the Law. That love was evident because until they spit, I really wasn’t feeling the song:

Bein’ the pimps that we are

We’re here to speak on a situation that has gone too far

Here at home in the ghettos of LA

Where a young black brother’s not promised to see the next day

Cause we used to clock on the streets before we made beats

But fools just lay and prey on the weak

It don’t depend on the color of a rag

Cause if you got what they want you know they gonna take what you have

Cause violence don’t only revolve from drugs and thugs

And gangs that bang

Most times it’s a political thang

This could be a pretty interesting match-up as both of these groups sort of peaked in popularity before their respective coasts blew up. Above the Law has a more extensive catalog; yet, when Stetsasonic member Prince Paul does his thing with De Las Soul – Hip Hop was changed forever. As far as these tracks go:

Daddy O & Wise -1  Above the Law – 2

Stop The Violence Movement– 7  West Coast All-Stars 7

Sixth Leg: D-Nice vs. Ice T

D-Nice got more props as a DJ than MC; but he does not disappoint when he spits:

It’s time to stand together in a unity

‘Cause if not then we’re soon to be

Self-destroyed, unemployed

The rap race will be lost without a trace

Or a clue but what to do

Is stop the violence and kick the science

Down the road that we call eternity

Where knowledge is formed and you’ll learn to be

Self-sufficient, independent

To teach to each is what rap intended

But society wants to invade

So do not walk this path they laid

On the other hand, Ice T is the Godfather of West Coast Rap. His rhyme style screams “1980s!!” but he always let us know he was a wise hustler. He proved it by being the target of a national boycott due to his Cop Killa track with Body Count; yet, today he is more widely known as cop on the TV show, Law & Order. To quote sports commentator, Jalen Rose, Ice T “keep gettin’ them checks!”

Ice-T rippin the microphone the way I do

Listen close, my brothers, cause I’m talkin to you

The problem is we got a suicidal lifestyle

Cause 90 percent of us are livin foul and wild

I say job, you say

(bad joke, I rather jack another brother, watch the gun smoke)

Livin in the fast lane flippin like you’re insane

You won’t stop until your blood runs down the street drain

I got an idea, give me a minute

And if it makes sense, then get with it

What if we could take our enemies, feed em poison

Undereducate their girls and boys and

Split em up, make em fight one another

Better yet, make em kill for a color

All my brothers need to know one thing

No matter what you think, we’re all in the same gang

D-Nice -2  Ice T – 2

Stop The Violence Movement– 9  West Coast All-Stars 9

Seventh Leg: Ms. Melodie vs. Dr. Dre & Ren

I got love for Ms. Melodie because she tried to bring some lady-like class to the rap game while still having the skills to spit. On this track, she flows:

I’m Ms. Melodie and I’m a born again rebel

The violence in rap must cease and seckle

If we want to develop and grow to another level

We can’t be guinea pigs for the devil

The enemy knows, they’re no fools

Because everyone knows that hip-hop rules

So we gotta get a grip and grab what’s wrong

The opposition is weak and rap is strong.

Dr. Dre and Ren of NWA wanted us to know:

Yo, we’re not here to preach because we’re not ministers

We’re telling like it is cause Ren and Dre is like sinister

Reality speaks for itself when it’s spoken

A basehead cluck can’t blame nobody for smoking

But these lines:

N.W.A never preaching, just teaching

The knowledge of the streets

Is where they lost me. Their verse fit on this song, but NWA teaching? Nah son, I ain’t buying that.

Ms. Melodie – 1  Dr. Dre & Ren – 1

Stop The Violence Movement– 10  West Coast All-Stars 10

Eighth Leg: Doug E. Fresh vs. J.J. Fad

Lyrically is Doug one of the greats? I don’t think so. But will you remember him after you’ve heard him? Yes and that’s the whole point. His verse on this track was simple but memorable in delivery:

This is all about, no doubt, to stop violence

But first let’s have a moment of silence

(Beatboxing)… swing

Things been stated re-educated, evaluated

Thoughts of the past have faded

The only thing left is the memories of our belated

And I hate it, when

Someone dies and gets all hurt up

For a silly gold chain by a chump (Word up)

It doesn’t make you a big man (And)

To want to go out and dis your brother man (And)

You don’t know that’s part of the plan (Why?)

‘Cause rap music is in full demand


Perhaps like any Hip Hop Head raising daughters, I endured a spell of my little girls mimicking J.J. Fad.’s Supersonic. But I don’t have any experience with them saying:

The J double, F, the a, the d, that is

And if you want the solution to the quiz

What’s black and black, yo, and kills another?

An ignorant sucker that isn’t labelled as a brother

But another

So now it’s time we evolve

And get together and solve it

Doug E. Fresh – 2  J.J. Fad – 1

Stop The Violence Movement– 12  West Coast All-Stars 11

Ninth Leg: Just-Ice vs. Young MC

Do we even need to check the lyrics? Well, it’s closer than you think. The brevity of Just-Ice’s verse may be an excuse or maybe Young MC isn’t as bad as we thought.

Brothers killin’ other brothers

I thought the idea was to love one another?

Open up the paper to one more death

If y’all keep this up then there’ll be no one left.

See that wasn’t that bad. Now it’s Just-Ice’s turn to bust a move:

My name is Just-Ice a man, not a prankster

I was known as the gangster

But believe me that is no fun

The time is now to unite everyone

You don’t have to be soft to be for peace

Robbing and killing and murdering is the least

You don’t have to be chained by the beast

But party people it’s time I release!

Just-Ice – 1  Young MC – 1

Stop The Violence Movement– 13  West Coast All-Stars 12

Tenth Leg: Heavy D vs. Digital Underground

YESSIR! Some real contenders! One of those second-round playoffs that could be better than the conference finals match-ups. Heav gets it going with:

Ayo here’s the situation: idiodicy

Nonsense, violence, not a good policy

Therefore we must ignore, fighting and fussing

Heavy’s at the door so there’ll be no bum-rushing

Yet, not even the Diddly Diddly Dee can top the interplay between Shock G and Humpty Hump:

I’m in a rage

Oh yeah? Yo, why is that G?

Other races, they say we act like rats in a cage

I tried to argue, but check it, every night in the news

We prove them suckers right and I got the blues


Get busy, Humpty

The red, the white, the blue and

The blue and the red

For Crips and Bloods

The white for who’s got you doin

Time bustin caps on one another

The Underground’s down for peace among brothers

Heavy D – 1  Digital Underground – 2

Stop The Violence Movement– 14  West Coast All-Stars 14

Y’all this getting long. I’m just going to let Fruitkwan, Oaktown 3.5.7., and MC Hammer chill. I’m guessing y’all would be cool with that.

Anchor Leg: Chuck D & Flavor Flav vs. Eazy E

No contest. Yeah, their legends for their respective reasons. On one hand, it’s easy to underestimate Chuck’s flow because his voice is so outstanding. Flavor is the perfect compliment and they work their magic here:

Yes, we urge to merge, we live for the love of our people

The hope: they get along (Yeah, so we did a song)

Getting the point to our brothers and sisters

Who don’t know the time (Boyyyee, so we wrote a rhyme)

Instead in your head, you know, our job

To build and collect ourselves with intellect (Come on)

To revolve, to evolve to self-respect

‘Cause we got to keep ourselves in check

Or else it’s…

The perfect end to that song. Now Eazy seeks to stay hard on a stop the violence track – go figure:

Last but not least, yo, Eazy’s no sell-out

And if you can’t hang in the streets, then get the hell out

I’m not tryin to tell ya what to do

You have your own freedom of choice who to listen to

You knew good from bad, fair from foul, right from wrong

Now your mother’s singing that sad song

(My baby ain’t never hurt nobody!)

But he still got smoked at BeBe’s party

But you’re not the first or the last

You’re nothin but a short story from the past

You’re dead now, not number one but a zero

Take notes from Eazy-E, the violent hero

Chuck D & Flavor Flav – 2  Eazy E- 1

Stop The Violence Movement– 16  West Coast All-Stars 15

The Stop the Violence Movement is the champ!

Written by

Sabin Prentis is a husband, father, educator, native Detroiter, author, and creator of Literary Soul Food. More about Sabin and his books can be found at…

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