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Top 5 Rap Duos of All Time

Updated on March 19, 2010

Big Ups!

Throughout the history of rap music, there have been countless song collaborations that will forever live in our, the listener's, memories. Whether you call yourself old school or new, each generation has bosted it's top rap duo or group at the time. From Run DMC and Salt n Peppa, to the Underground Kingz (UGK), rap duos have held their own across the map.

In an effort to show appreciation and give respect due, I have decided to compile a top 5 list of greatest rap/hip hop duos, both male and female emcees.

Please, leave comments and a little support for the artists listed. If you have an opinion on who you think should have made the list, feel free to leave your suggestion(s).

So, without further adue, here are the top 5 rap duos of all time.


First Place:

 Run D.M.C comprised of two rappers and one dj, the perfect combination to form a group in the eyes of many backpackers and bboy emcees. The group consisted of Run (Joseph Simmons; the brother of Def Jam Records' founder Russell Simmons), childhood friend Darryl McDaniels (D.M.C) and Jason Mizell, better known as "Jam Master Jay." Since the group's first single "It's like that/Sucker M.C's" in 1983 to their chart topping single, "My Addidas" released in 1986, the group set the path for artists to follow to ensure longevity and a place among hip-hop's elite.

My Addidas

You be Illin'

"What good is an ear if a Q-tip isn't in it?"

2nd Place: Tribe Called Quest

By now, you are probably asking "why are the first two groups, trios in a duo count down?" The answer to that is simple, just as the case with Run D.M.C. and J.M.J (Rest in Peace), Ali Shaheed Muhammad was a DJ/Producer for the group. The two emcees (or rappers) were Phife Dawg (Malik Taylor) and Kamaal Ibn John Fareed, better known as Q-tip. The group put out quality music from their debut album 'People's Instinctive Travels and the Path to Rythm,' to their last album in 1998, the Love Movement. Due to record label disputes and other issues within the group, they split up but will be forever remembered for classic hits such as "Check the Rhyme" and "Scenario" to "Stressed Out." So sit back, remenise and watch as the tribe kicks it!

Jazz(We've Got) & Buggin' Out

Electric Relaxation


3rd Place:

 Coming in at number 3 on the countdown is East Point, Georgia's own duo, Outkast. Comprised of members Andre "Andre 3000" Benjamin and Antwan "Big Boi" Patton, the group was especially diverse for their time and region. Blending funk, soul, pop, rock, jazz and blues, the southern rap duo had certainly set themselves apart from the crowd and quickly became successes in mainstream rap. The group's first album was entitled southernplayalisticadillacmuzik and had broken ground for other rap artists in the south, since at the time hip hop was underseiged by the war between the East and West coast. By the time their second album was released, "A.T.liens" in 1996, the duo had already made a name for themeselves but gone through a major image reconstruction. As would be the case for the rest of their career, Outkast kept their fans on edge in anticipation for the next odd bar or funky rythm. Their music is diverse and never sounds the same such as the song difference between "Git up, git out" with fellow dungeon family members, Goodie Mob and songs like, "Hey Ya" and "So Fresh, So Clean." It's Decatur baby!

Elevators (Me & You)

So Fresh, So Clean

the Prototype

Push it...Push it REAL Good!

4th Place: Salt n Pepa

The year 1985 introduced two vicarious female emcees in Cheryl James ("Salt") and Sandra Denton ("Pepa") from Queens New York. Over 15 million album and singles sales later worldwide, the duo became the best selling female rap act of all time.

Originally the group was named "Supernature" but only for their first single "the Showstopper," an answer to Doug E. Fresh's hit single, "the show." The song was produced by Hurby Azor who had to do the song as a school project. The finished project earned remedial airplay on a New York rap radio program, and became an official R&B hit when independent Pop Art Records gave it release.

In 1986, the group released their solo debut album, "Hot, Cool & Vicious" under independent record label Next Plateau records. The album featured hits such as "My mic sounds nice" and "Tramp." San Francisco DJ and producer, Cameron Paul created a remix to "Push it," the b-side of "Tramp" and gave the group their first hit single, "Push it" and went platinum in the U.S. The first female rap act to do so, selling 1.3 million copies worldwide, the single earned  a grammy award nomination and propelled the group into the spotlight ever since.

Push it


Let's Talk about Sex


5th Place:

 The Underground Kingz, or U.G.K, was formed in 1987 by the late Chad "Pimp C" Butler and Bernard "Bun B" Freeman. The two would stay lifetime partners until the untimely demise of Pimp C. From the "Free Pimp C" movement to the time of his death, supporting group member Bun B was loyal to the group's endeavours and kept their name alive when the rap scene was heavily dominated by the East Coast.

In 1992, the group was signed to Jive Records under a five album contract and released their debut album, "Too Hard to Swallow." They would release other albums and do several guest appearences on singles such as "Big Pimpin" with Jay-Z, "Sippin on some Syrup" with Three-Six-Mafia and form a lasting friendship with Southern rap mogul, Robert "DJ Screw" Davis. They blended classic southern jazz and soul rap with slick-tongued pimp tales music and spawned a nation of die hard fans and followers.

Their second album, "Super Tight" peaked at Billboard's Hot 200 at #95, following with their third album "Ridin' Dirty" at #15. Songs such as "Pocket Full of Stones, Leather & Wood," and Wood Wheel" made them the respected rap act that they had become. Their music will forever live on in our hearts and minds, never to be forgotten.

Int'l Players Anthem (feat. Outkast)

Wood Wheel

Sippin' on some Syrup (w/three-six-mafia)


As an avid rap music fan, the list I compiled only reflects my personal opinion on who I think are the top 5 rap duo acts of all time. Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions as we all try to keep this music beautiful and respected.

Peace to all my REAL Hip Hop and Rap fans! Until next time or next list, K.I.T.


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    • profile image

      dff 4 years ago

      I could put bad meets evil there

    • profile image

      Where's Rakim and Eric B?????? 5 years ago

      this list is incomoplete and useless without Eric B and Rakim

    • montie bird profile image

      montie bird 7 years ago from Detroit-Atlanta-New York

      im feelin yo set up

    • R.Edwards profile image

      R.Edwards 7 years ago 5!!! Can u seriously say that of all time, smif n wesson (although I loved 'da shining' album) or CNN ranked among the above mentioned? And Red n Meth were/are not an official group...collab duo, but that's another category!

    • profile image

      HipHopZScholar 7 years ago

      Redman & Meth?!

    • profile image

      Gregory Jackson  7 years ago

      How can you not have EPMD, Whodhini??? Just my opinion

    • profile image

      hjlk 7 years ago

      What about smif-n-wessun? capone-n-noreaga? DID YOU FORGET ERIC B & RAKIM?!?