Crew love has long been prevalent in hip-hop. The Juice Crew, Native Tongues and the Wu-Tang Clan are just a few of an innumerable amount of collectives that have helped revolutionize and define rap. After being spoiled with an abundance of crews in the late '90s and early aughts, the well has run a little dry, with the number of collectives diminishing in recent years.
Earlier this summer, at New York radio mainstay Hot 97's annual Summer Jam concert, during 50 Cent's time on the stage, he all but resurrected the original G-Unit lineup from the grave, sending the crowd (and social media for that matter) into a frenzy. The onstage reunion was followed by new tracks from the quartet and an album slated for release this November, essentially giving New York rap, and the the industry as a whole, some much needed life. It felt like 2003 all over again.
These recent events had us feeling a bit nostalgic about our favorite partners in rhyme and those we wouldn't mind making a comeback. Check out 9 Rap Crews We Wish Would Reunite.
Jay Z may have been Roc-A-Fella's main breadwinner during the labels legendary early 2000s run, but Beanie Sigel and his State Property crew were the heart and soul of the crew. Featuring fellow Philly representatives Freeway, the Young Gunz, Oschino & Sparks and Peedi Crakk, the upstarts put the City of Brotherly Love back on the map, producing two successful compilation albums and even hitting the big screen with the 'State Property' franchise. They disbanded following the collapse of the Roc to pursue solo endeavors so we wouldn't see the clique getting back together for another go-round. But with Beanie Sigel slated to come home from jail soon enough and Dame Dash shaking things up behind the scenes once again, this reunion could happen sooner than we think.
The ill-fated '90s super-group The Firm only released one album to mixed reviews before calling it quits. Initially seen as a subpar effort due to high expectations, in hindsight, the LP was far from a dud, even spawning a few classics that still get burn to this day. With Nas and AZ still capable of delivering high quality music and never delivering a collaborative album that diehards have been praying nearly two decades for, we could settle for the prized lyricists in a group setting. We’d make two changes to the Firm formula though: First we’d replace Nature with original Firm member Cormega. Next we’d have Dr. Dre step away from production duties since it seems lie he’s more concerned with Beats headphones than the actual beats that play out of them. In his place we would have DJ Premo and Trackmasters handle production duties. Foxy Brown would most likely end up the weak link of the reunion, but that's nothing a good ghostwriter or three can't fix.
If you happened to be an avid listener to DJ Clue mixtapes during the early 2000s, the phrase 'Triangle Offense' may ring a bell. That was Joe Budden's definition of the lyrical precision with which him, Fabolous and Paul Cain displayed on the memorable freestyles from that era. With Fab and Budden still regarded as two of the best bar-for-bar spitters in the game, the streets (and Internet) would have no qualms with Clue rounding up the troops for another go-round. Throw former bench players the A-Team (Ransom & Hitchcock) into the fold and you have one of the more formidable lineups of pure spitters you could find and the making of a classic compilation or mixtape.
Houston was a regional hotbed for rap years before Mike Jones and UGK helped put the Lonestar state back on the national stage. The late DJ Screw's Screwed Up Click helped build the hip-hop scene locally with his now historic mixes, pioneering a sound that his proteges continued to carry on long after his death. Originally featuring Lil Keke, Z-Ro, Lil Flip, Trae and ESG among others, they released a bevy of mixtapes together but only accounted for one studio album as a crew ('99s 'Blockbleeders' compilation). With each achieving success individually in their respective solo careers, seeing the crew come together for another group effort would be major for fans of their "screwed-up" southern brand of hip-hop.
Atlanta collective the Dungeon Family only released one official album together before solo endeavors and internal strife slowly separated the crew. Consisting of OutKast, Goodie Mob, Cool Breeze and producers Organized Noize, among others, the crew helped break the door open for southern artists and remain some of the most respected voices in the south today. We suspect the Family is far from washed up and still have plenty in the tank to deliver another serving of their dungeon-cooked 'Soul Food.' Add Killer Mike to the fold and things almost become unfair -- to the competition that is. A reunion would be justice served.
Before becoming Kanye's under-boss and making a foray into religious endeavors, Pusha T and his big brother Malice were in record label limbo and decided to do what true hustlers do and adapt to the market. In the middle of the mixtape renaissance of the 2000s, the brothers Thornton teamed up with Philly spitters Sandman and Ab-Liva for their cult classic 'We Got It 4 Cheap.' While never achieving the major label success of other crews on this list, lyrically, they're head and shoulders above a majority of the competition. With coke rap showing signs of life, who better than these fellas to help powder the nose of the rap game?
Lil Wayne and his YMCMB family may currently be at the top of the rap food chain, but even their current streak of domination pales in comparison to the success Tunechi saw as a member of the supergroup Hot Boys. Wayne, Juvenile, B.G., and Turk (with Mannie Fresh on the boards) helped open the door for the south before splitting amid financial disagreements. But as they say, time heals all wounds. If the most popular rap crew to ever come from below the Mason-Dixon line could put their differences aside and give us the reunion we spent a majority of the 2000s begging for (albeit without the currently incarcerated B.G.), the rap world would be a better place.
The first crew to "restore the feeling" after the jiggy extravagance of the Bad Boy era, the Ruff Ryders came in the door on the back of DMX, saving Def Jam Records and putting Yonkers, N.Y., on the map in one swoop. Featuring a solid stable that once included Eve, the Lox, Swizz Beatz, Cassidy and Drag-On, the team all contributed some of the most memorable street anthems from that era and made the Ruff Ryders brand a hot commodity in the industry. Since they released a string of successful albums individually and a solid compilation album series to their credit, a reunion would be more than welcomed.
The Boogie Down Bronx is undisputed as the Mecca of hip-hop, but has always been under-represented in the rap game. Terror Squad looked to be one of the few BX groups to achieve mass success, but the death of Big Pun, internal strife and the incarceration of Remy Ma would continually turn the groups momentum into false starts. So, with Remy Ma all but weeks away from her release date and Cuban Link still lyrically capable, if Fat Joe and company can put their differences aside in the name of Bronx pride, maybe they can make good on the legacy of Big Pun and give us something to match the monster hit that was 'Lean Back.'