The List: The Ayatollah’s Top MCs in Pittsburgh.

For this list, I named the MCs who had song writing ability AND 16 bar skill.  Basically, you have to prove adept at making songs and when the beat comes of, being able to wow the crowd with technique.  A lot of contributing factors were taken into accountability here.  Beat selection, cadence, poise,  and subject matter.  This is my list, my very educated and researched opinion.  The list is in no particular order, but here it is:

Wiz KhalifaWiz is easily one of the best song writers out right now.  From Prince of The City 1 to Kush and Orange Juice. Wiz has proved to be one of the most creative MCs in the game right now.  Subject matter – not so much, but his flow, wordplay, delivery, cadence, Wiz has it down pat.  Would I put him over a lot of niggas in a battle?  No, but I bet you he can hold his own.  All the real Steel City alum can co-sign that.  The only thing that holds Wiz back from being bigger than he is is his boring ass weed smoke, more money than you rhymes.

Wiz Khalifa: This Plane

Sha-KingSha reminds me of what use to make me go home and write bars.  Sha is the last of the Pro Ricans, right here in Pittsburgh.  His rhyme schemes are mad intricate and the knowledge packed into his bars could easily drown a fish when he spits.  Next to one other MC on this list, I think Sha has the best delivery in the city.  Better than Dominos.  Have you heard “Power”?!  My only real criticism is that he is in a specific lane that may not be for every one …

Sha-King: Power

Varsity Squad.  Yes, I’m naming them as one entity.  Jon Quest is dope.  Bottom line.  However, his monotone delivery can really get boring.  Quest has increasing poise with a great ear for beats.  Yeh, that factors in.  Beedie has the best delivery in Pittsburgh.  He can sound ill on anything, even though the wordplay could run on like a run away slave.  Beedie still has every thing from image to cipher presence an MC trying to make it should have.

Jon Quest: Last Word

Beedie: Fly

Roscoe Wiki.  I knew 5 years ago Roscoe would be successful.  I used to  call him Little Lupe. I watched him at 14-15 mow down grown men in the Jump Off TV Pittsburgh battles.  Then I witnessed the genesis of  one of the most  talented artists in Pittsburgh.  Slaves Of The Mind,  and Space Love, show cased lyrical prowess, pen game, and production and vocal quality.  There’s been a lot of talk, Roscoe this, Roscoe that, where’s he going, where’s he at? His current work with Common Wealth Family is a bit contra to what he started off as, but it’s still dope shit.  Take it from me, you don’t wanna sound clash him nothing.

Roscoe Wiki: Space Ship

APEX.  What started off as 4 are now 2.  You think that would of worked for Onyx?  Pre-Sense and Aris are the most well rounded group in Pittsburgh.  While neither one are absolute pen juggernauts, they have song writing ability and fantastic production.  They can step up and spit 16s but that’s not what you want when you listen to them, you want music.  That’s what you get, good music.

Apex: 1 More Time

BoazBo Bey aka Brother Mouzone  I mean, come on, what more can you ask for?  No one spits that street shit like Bo, no one.  Bo actually has knowledge of the game, he’s lyrical, he’s grimy, he’s conscious.  He’s easily PGH’s Nas.   Of late, Bo has fallen victim to the hustler lane, he’s iller than that and some of his beats have suffered, but he still represents. I heard Bo is in the streets too deep though, which could be a huge problem if he wants to progress his career.

Boaz: Steel City

Mac MillerMac is kinda like Pittsburgh’s Drake.  The privileged Jewish yute every one knew rapped but didn’t know how ill he was until it was too late.   Mac has great rhymes, he’s really dope lyrically.  And he can freestyle his ass off, that’s rare now days.   Mac’s also kind of Pittsburgh’s Asher Roth … more so the latter.  His subject matter is really one dimensional but he has a lane to occupy and some of his shit is phenomenally dope, other tunes, not so much.

Mac Miller: Nikes On My Feet

Charon Don.  Charon encompasses the quintessential Pittsburgh MC.  Just as much as I named Boaz, Charon is the Mos Def to Bo Bey’s Biggie.  Do your PGH hip hop knowledge, please.  At first, Charon was just an ill rhymer, but the brother makes ill songs.  He’s pretty versatile as well, but his comfort zone is just straight spitting. His first CD with Huggy as Hands Down was kinda iffy to me … but Art Of Life … maaan.  Wiz also had a killer, dominating verse on there as well.

Charon Don: The Truth

Jasiri X.  Furious Styles, the original one.  Jasiri is a mix of Dead Prez and Chuck D all in a Allen Payne looking package.  Lyrically, I don’t think any one is iller than him in the city, save one.  Jasiri IS THE political rapper, so that’s kind of the paradigm he resides in.  Nothing wrong with that, but don’t sniff around this tree looking for “Around The Way Girl” or  “10 Crack Commandments”.   Jasiri does bring a balance to the force that is all but absent in today’s game.   For what he does, his songs are just as dope as Wiz’ and Mac’s just the other side of the coin.

Jasiri X: The Only Color That Matters Is Green

Ems The Gawd aka Kid A.  The most lyrical MC in this city with the most unassuming moniker.  Kid A has had the lyrical title in his reach since Ron Noodles was ripping through ciphers and the brother is only 24.  Freestyle ability and breath control make the MC formally known as EMS a force to be reckoned with, though a lack of material is the only thing that really keeps him away from being more highly regarded.  A also has a shaky angle when it comes to song writing quality.

Kid A: Find God

Honourable mention starts here.  For one reason or another they weren’t top 10 overall, but very, very talented MCs.

Divine Seven.  Sev has the most philosophical rhymes and really great flow, but sometimes his monotone delivery can really take away from his super over the top wordplay.

Divine Seven feat. Varsity Squad: Shadow Loungin

Living Proofe.  Proof has DOPE bars, sometimes his rhyme scheme can be a bit clumsy but his increasing amount of material really shows a lot of impressive substance and improvement.

Living Proofe: Rise

Real Deal.  Real Deal is an ill battle MC with hot punchlines and a cipher presence like king kong,  but a terrible ear for beats and when you put him on a beat, he has a very, very off delivery he almost sound out of place on a song.

Real Deal: Real Deal vs. Ex-L

J. Sands of Lone Catalysts.  J edged out Masai from Formula 412/Strict Flow based off the fact I think Sands has a better ear for beats and his patterns are a little more attention grabbing.

J. Sands: Manifest


51 thoughts on “The List: The Ayatollah’s Top MCs in Pittsburgh.

  1. WoW where they do that at chocolate ent./PGH-BOYZ should have been on there we got some of the hottest original sound in the burgh 90 percent in house beat and 100 percent in house production come on pittsburgh open your eyes and reconize real hip-hop you'll see we are still here and we arent going no where.We are true pittsburgh representers get at me if you'll need a video shot or studio time we also do pro mix downs.

  2. def agree wit u kmo…its a pov like i said of course some people arent gon b happy..its his opinion…but some very key people where left out of this list shit let me make a list lol…i cant stand wiz but guess what he would be on da list people have to learn to not include bias…if u wanna write a list like this then u have to research the scene not just a scene that u urself r apart of…ive listened to almost every cat on this list and seen them perform although its not my kinda music im very aware of these artists..my list would def include mac sha king jasiri charon if i was to make a complete reflection of top mcs…just my thoughts

    not that i care seriously i just would like to see a more diverse selection kuz i know i aint no top mc…lmfao

  3. The bottom line for me is that this List has a common denominator: it's all similar type of music. If I wrote the list it would be different. If Bricks wrote the list it would be different. If DJ Big Phill wrote the list it would be different. No one would be pleased with any list that was published, to be real. My recommendation for anyone that didn't appear on the list that thought they should is to put together a marketing plan to be seen more by the masses both locally and nationally. You have to put work in, it doesn't just come to you.

  4. A-Jaxx lives in New Brighton, not inside the city, so his exposure to the music is gonna reflect that, most of the time he's in town is for shows at the Shadow Lounge or other places with the same group of artists, so those acts & acts that featured in Jenesis & on this site is gonna be what he really comes across, and if you listen to his music, his taste is reflected in this list, I know him so I just expect that when I look at the list, some of the people he said he didn't know like Young Roe or 2Gzzz have their rep around the city just not so much inside of his scope … he has the right to his opinion & people have the right to disagree

    but if you think about it, someone outside of the city, who has to rely more on the media outlets, that opinion is more reflective of the rest of the country, because they also have to rely on the media outlets, everybody in the country knows Wiz, Boaz is gettin shine outside of the city, Mac is on all the blogs, … some people can take this opportunity to get their name out past the city limits as well as inside

    and for anyone who wants to know, I produced for Mac Miller, Beedie, A-Jaxx, Bricks, Charon Don, and Kid A, recorded Young Roe, been to Atlanta with Living Proofe & Classic 1824 & Ohio with Mista Scrap & Statement Records … so I know & work with people on & off the list, no biases

    in general people need to look harder before they call people irrelevant though, cause you can make yourself look real bad making bold statements without doing your homework, there's a lot of people not on the list that put in major work, its an opinion so its aight for them to not be on but don't be quick to say someone is irrelevant because you ain't heard of them, especially if their on the site your writing on

  5. BITCH N MOANIN NAH I WOULDNT SAY BOYS IS DOIN DAT…AND AS FAR AS FEELINGS I DONT KNOW ABOUT U BUT I LIVE THIS BREATHE THIS THIS IS WHAT I DO ITS NEVER BEEN ABOUT THE MONEY…MOST OF US DO THIS FOR OURSELVES..SO WHEN A LIST COMES OUT AND PEOPLE R OVERLOOKED ESPICALLY NGAS WHO BEEN GRINDIN OF COURSE U GON GET SOME ANGER SOME CONFUSION AND FRUSTRATION ALL THESE ARE NORMAL HUMAN EMOTIONS..I NEVER BEEN A COCKBLOWER IMA REALIST ME BEING REAL THIS LIST IS DECENT…I SAY THAT BECAUSE LIKE I SAID SOME REAL NGAS WHO R DEF ELITE IN THIS CITY R MISSIN OF COURSE IM BIASED TOWARDS MY LABEL BUT I BEEN GRINDIN AND IF U GON DO A LIST DO A LIST THAT REFLECTS THE WHOLE CITY KUZ THIS IS A VERY HIP HOPISH LIST NOT THAT THATS BAD AND I KNOW THIS IS REPPGHHIPHOP.COM BUT RAP IS HIPHOP 2

    …AND NOBODYS COSIGN MAKES MY GRIND OFFICIAL NOT IN THE LEAST

    BLAAATTTTT

  6. 1st off, The list is official, G. Respect.
    NOW…
    Niggas out here catchin' supreme feelings. Oh well, UPS Is Hiring. All whiny "rappers" inquire within, at your nearest location. If you KNOW you're nice, then what you complainin' for? Niggas are way too emotional. This is supposed to be rap, not Bitch and Moan class. Boys be on their Lou Pinelli on the computer, except I can see the hurt feelings. No, you won't eat off rap so stick with your job. Anybody who feels offended can take that how they wanna. If you have a problem with it, outrap someone on that list or stfu. Smh. If you don't have a Brick Diggler cosign at the very least, stfu. Being that Timebomb is the epitome of 412 hip hop, in my opinion. "How to Rap" workshops being held as well.

  7. HA HA ID HAVE 2 AGREE THIS IS DEF A SHADOW LOUNGE LETS SMOKE WEED AND BE FREE KINDA LIST…REGARDLESS OF ONE MANS OPINION THE STREETS R NOT REPRESENTED ON THIS LIST AT ALL…AND GOTDAMN IF OUR MUSIC DIDNT COME FROM THE STREETS YEA NOT NECESSARILY THE NEGATIVES THAT MOST OF OUR MAINSTREAM ARTISTS GLORIFY BUT STILL..OK I SEE BOAZ…AND DATS ABOUT IT….DA LIST IS DECENTLY SOLID THO..BUT I SEE BOYS OVERLOOK KINGPINZ…FIRST LET ME PUT THIS OUT THERE..NOBODYS PRODUCT PRESENTATION IS FUCKIN WIT MINE…BUT ITS COOL I KINDA THOUGHT MAYBE PLAYBIZZLE WOULDA MADE THIS LIST BUT IDK…

  8. LOL, as soon as I read this I new you were going to get cats coming at you Jaxx. But Like Nizzy said this is "his opinion" everyone is not going to make it, plus he gave the good and the bad. It's his top ten and there 1,000 rappers in PGH. I like and agree with some of the choices, Wiz, Mac, J. Sands, Jarisi X and Real Deal are really the only MC's with a national presence, so they deserve it. I'm a Apex fan, like Wiki( solo, not the group), and Beenie is nice with it. But this is his opinion so respect it..if you don't like it create your own list. But don't let it be your "Favorite Homeboy's" list. We talking about dudes thats really trying to do it..Rhymes, Albums, Mixtapes, Visuals and Shows. And like Dyse said….make room on ya list cause the Phat Mack in on the scene! Jay Dix… holla!!

  9. wat about K-POUND???? THAT NIGGA IS LYRICAL AINT TOO MANY PPL ON THAT LIST TOUCHIN HIM!!!!!

    ITS JUST FACT PLUS GOOGLE THE NIGGA. IM NOT DICK RIDIN IM JUST A FAN BUT IMMA GO HARD 4 WHAT I FEEL IS THE TRUTH AND KPOUND IS THE TRUTH.

  10. List is cool for the most part it's only one persons opinion… but RealDeal? Great battle emcee…horrible rapper! sorry but if you consider him one of pittsburghs elite then your smoking crack, and Sha King has the best delivery in the city?!?! That must be a joke right?

  11. ya tone they are still out there you gotta check stedafords or local music stores i got them there a few years ago

  12. There is a reason people are debating MY opinion and NOT yours…

    There is a reason MY list and reasons are being discussed and NOT yours…

    Its because … No one cares about what you have to say and quite apparently agree or disagree, you all CARE emphatically about MY opinion.

    I was the first cat in PGH to call Jon Quest wack…then he changed my mind. Up your rhyme games women, not your whine games.

    Sounds like the bitches from the view in this comment thread.

  13. LOL.. Pittsburgh sucks I'm glad I'm leaving.. ps. this comment has nothing to do with any of these artists..

  14. eryone is entitled to their own opinion but the list is suspect to me. Some should be on there others shouldn't. Dubble or Nothing coming soon

  15. this has to be the funniest thing ive seen in a while!!!!!!!!! looks like a shadow lounge all star line up!!!!!!!! to many people out here that can make this list easy, i agree on jon quest, wiz , and boaz the rest i have no other comment but no 2 g'z thats insane!!!!!!!!!! and Capitol L of Statement Records needs his mentioning too, matter fact Scoot hix and Spitta , but they have to get out there a lil more , but Cap L is next growing star!!!!!!

    • MISTER SCRAP… THEY DIDN'T PUT 2GZZ ON THERE AND SOMEONE SAID HE GOOGLED HIM AND HE'S A CLOWN…WOW. PLEASE TELL THESE PEOPLE SOMETHING GOOD BRO!!!!

  16. oh wow…..aight, here we go hahahaha:

    i definitely agree wit the points made….this list is one man's opinion, and a few of the cats he actually says "this might not be for everyone" …….wtf? anyway shoutout to the emcees mentioned, please be advised JAY NIZZY is gunnin for cats hahahaha (competitively respectful of course)

    what? thats it……..go'on now, get! lmao

    • YES!!!! B. Porter was the Underground King of the east side of Pittsburgh in the early 90s. Definitely a good mention! Valley low Mixtape – Are there still copies of that shit floatin' around? If so, I need it ASAP.

    • i like the b.porter mention big shout outs to the cats that paved the way for pgh hip like b. porter my man infinate and the rest of ruff chemistry then you got mel man and sam sneed. Big ups to all of em but this list is a decent one and the important thing to remember is its just one mans thoughts so he's entitled to that rather who ever likes it. i know i'm gunning for the top spot like we all should motivate off of this dont' hate

  17. Cats are too funny – Varsity Squad on the list that's all i care about – Good look Jaxx.

  18. LMAO GNR EVERY 1 HAS THER OWN OPINION THIS LIST IS VERY SUSPECT TO ME I GOT MY OWN OPINION. U AINT EVEN GOT S MOOLA ON HERE AND OTHERS TO ME WEAK GNR

    RESPECT THE G 9-11-10

    AND FOR THE RECORD NO HATE I JUSS GOT MY OWN OPINION SEEN LIKE A LOT OF POLITICS ON THIS LIST

  19. I really aint mad @ that list for real. "Real Deal's" probably the ONLY MC that I'd debate about being one of our elite. Aside from that, good read! Niggas stop hatin please being that this only ONE opinion. If you or your man didn't make the list – It should motivate you to go harder. Shit, I guess I gotta step my game up so I make the next one. lol

      • AGREED! I think P.Vicious is 2Gzz on the low-low. lol. There's absolutely NO reason to vouch for an MC like that, but to each his own. I just know I took time out of my day to google this clown and was disappointed to the fullest!

        256.3

  20. I tried to post a link to a joint from 1997 (thats why it said :thats from 1997) I suppose I did that wrong…oh well

  21. HI-LOW productions..the greatest group to come out of the 412….(my old squad..but of course I would say that)…..back when I went by the name DJ Lord Khaos (Supa C still calls me that to this day lol)

    Thats from1997…

  22. HI HATER @al..check it out . first of all google 2gzz and alot of shit will come up,second of all rookie who's dick riding wiz and mac miller.THE DUDE MAC MILLER JUST GOT SIGNED TO ROSTUM SO HOW THE FUCK ARE YOU GOING TO PUT HIM ON THERE,WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO GET ENDORMENT DEALS OR FAVORS FROM ROSTUM?OH,ON THE 2GZZ THING HE'S ON REPPGHHIPHOP,CD BABY (READ THE REVIEWS),AMAZON(READ THE REVIEWS),,ITUNES,HE WAS THE FIRST RAPPER FROM THE BURGH TO WIN WAMOS BEST RAP ARTIST IN 99 PIMP!AND NOT MAKING MOVES? HE JUST DID A SONG WITH B.G. ,JUVENILE AND GAR FOR HIS NEW ALBUM. HE'S IS ON THE COVER OF STREETWISE THE MAG.YOU CAN KEEP ON HATING ,BUT TRUST ME ,YOU WON'T STOP THE TAKEOVER!!!!!! HOW YOU LUV THAT????OH ,WERE NUMBER 10 ON YALL MUSIC COUNT DOWN,AND COME TO THE GUCCI MANE CONCERT ON SEPT 5 AND WITNESS FOR YOURSELF PITTSBURGH'S BEST ARTIST AND A VERY GREAT PERFORMER WITH CRAZY HOT SONGS!!!BYE HATER!!!!!!

    • just cause he was just recently signed doesn't mean he wasnt making moves before hand. You should really do your research before placing your foot further in your mouth, you moron. Every MC named has put in real work and paid dues.

      2Gzz … that's hardly what I would consider a lyricist or any one of note. I'm listening to him right now. He sounds like somebody who sounds like somebody. That's dope you're cheer leading for your mans though, make sure you stretch before you start doing splits.

      Congrats on the Gucci Mane show … keep supporting music that oppresses African Americans too.

  23. let me make one thing clear.

    To the mcs named, who feeI I dissed you? With out these critiques, how else do you expect to improve? I regard each one of you in a very respectful sense and I say this constructively so y'all can develop further.

    The MCs named are the elite of the city so you're judge on a harsher scale. As you should be.

    • MAN, YOU ARE A SUCKA ASS NIGGA!!! I'M TIRED OF THIS BACK AND FORTH HOE SHIT ,BITCH NIGGA!!!! YOU CAN MEET ME ANYWHERE FACE TO FACE SO YOU CAN ADDRESS ME LIKE A MAN,HOMIE!!! AND FOR THE RECORDS ,BITCH NIGGA I DON'T CHEER LEAD PUSSY ,IAM A C.E.O. PROMOTER,BOSS,AND A REAL NIGGA!!!! MY NIGGA SOUNDS LIKE HIS SELF.QUIT HIDING BEHIND A FUCKING LAPTOP!!!!! NIGGA MY NUMBER IS 412-589-3323.ENOUGH TALK PUSSY!!!!!!!

  24. @beedie – quite welcomed sir and thank you for being dope.

    @Dy$e – always room for improvement.

    @P Viscious your peoples apparently make no noticable moves. I went back to the 90s and considered Rook & Bishop, Mel-Man, Masai, and more. I never heard of any of the people you listed, get over that. If you can't be googled, you're not worth the time.

    • Me personally, I <3 the shit outta Mel-Man. He's what got me into Pgh hip hop back in the mid-90s. Classic shit right there.

      Gramma Gianotti, exiting stage left. :-D

  25. YALL DIDNT PUT 2GZZ ON THERE?ARE YALL FUCKING SERIOUS?THAT NIGGA BEEN KILLING EVERYTHING SINCE THE 90'S. YALL NEED TO DO YALL RESEARCH…FO'REAL! THERE'S NIGGAS LIKE 2GZZ ,WAX NETTY,STUCK,REL,YOUNG ROE,K.POUND,KELO-G (STRAIGHT MONEY),DUB(THE NICKEL)ECT…ARE YALL SERIOUS?

    • and who are they? just cuz you be in the hood dont mean you're shits different or ground breaking in any way. i remember The Nickel from old commercials during rap city..that was just some avg run of the mil hood rap that didnt set itself apart from nothing..

      not hating on what you're doing, if you got some music to throw up to prove why these cats are being "hated on" by being left off the list then by all means do it..but hands down none of these cats are at any shows around the city and i havent heard anyone in the scene buzzing about their releases..plain and simple.

      • BRO I RESPECT WHAT YOUR TALK ABOUT,TRUST ME I AIN'T SAYING EVERYBODIES GOING TO FEEL WHO I FEEL. ALL IM SAYING IS MY NIGGA BEEN PUTTING IT DOWN FROM DAY1 AND STILL IS KILLING SHIT FEEL ME? HE TURNED DOWN DEALS BRUH.AS FAR AS SHOW'S WE OPENED UP FOR DAMN NEAR EVERY BIG NAME RAPPER THAT CAME TOO PITTSBURGH. MOST OF THE TIME WE OUT PERFORMED THE NATIONALS.WE GO HARD !! I'M BRINGING HIS ALBUM OUT OCT. WITH VERY HEAVY PROMOTION.HIT MY NIGGA UP ON YOUTUBE/2GZZ

        • i feel you man. it always is gonna be what it is. dude put me on the list and put up a song from damn near 5 years ago..so in my eyes im only on it based on hype alone as to where another cat might have more out or did bigger shows and didnt make it…its not totally fair but in a way it still is…

          all we can do is work harder…cats can work hard to get on the list, and i can work hard to stay on it and maybe feel i earned it a bit more.

          cant take it all as hate tho ya know..he still listed negatives about everyone