It’s devastating to know when your favorite rap duo split up or when a highly esteemed hip-hop group disbanded. We’re not just talking about the legends, but the classic icons we grew up on and came to love over the years … That’s why when they called it quits, it was hard to accept they were splitting up for good.
So, we put together a list of rap duos and hip-hop groups that broke our hearts by breaking up and made us wish they were still together.
The Great Rap Duos
Eric B. & Rakim
Hip-hop in Tandem: Eric B. & Rakim
Years Active: 1986-1993
These partners-in-rhyme churned out classic hits after classic hits using their poetic rhymes, hard-hitting beats, and potent chemistry. DJ Eric Barrier and MC Rakim were regarded as “the most influential DJ/MC combo in contemporary pop music.”
Breaking Point: Interest in pursuing a solo career was raised, and a long, messy court battle between the two artists and their former label MCA Records led to the breakup.
Hip-hop in Tandem: DJ Premier & Guru
Years Active: 1985-2006
DJ Premier’s unique innovation in beat production was complemented by Guru’s monotone flow. Thus, the Gang Starr was born. Collectively, Gang Starr produced a ten-album catalog that continues to resonate throughout the rap scene and has been regarded as one of the most influential acts who helped shape the landscape of hip hop.
Breaking Point: The real reason behind the breakup has never been disclosed.
Hip-hop in Tandem: Havoc & Prodigy
Years Active: 1992-present (on hiatus)
Playing a big part in the resurgence of the East Coast rap, this Queensbridge duo brought dark, hardcore delivery to the hip hop’s forefront (listen to their smash hit “Shook Ones Pt. 2”). Havoc and Prodigy portrayed their NY roots through rapid beats and gritty narratives of street life.
Breaking Point: Havoc sent the hip-hop community into an uproar by making serious allegations about Prodigy’s sexuality via Twitter.
The Legendary Hip-Hop Groups
Group Members: Lil Wayne, Turk, Juvenile, and B.G.
Years Active: 1996-2001; 2007-present (on hiatus)
Taking the world by storm in the late ‘90s, this New Orleans’ four-man lyrical assault team dropped top-charting hits with the blend of signature sounds, beats, and lyrics. One of the tightest groups of rappers to ever come out of the block, Hot Boy$ began to rule the hip-hop scene and introduced prolific artists who ended up being a big deal.
Breaking Point: Money and pursuing solo careers were, in part, the reasons for the Hot Boy$ breakup.
Group Members: Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill, and Pras Michel
Years Active: 1992-1997
This group’s unique—and undeniable classic—blend of hip hop, soul, and reggae made an indelible impression on the music industry. Composed of the exceptional Lauryn Hill, the talented Wyclef Jean, and the Grammy-winning Pras Michel, The Fugees was a rare, dynamic trio that introduced the world to the one of the most influential and rock-solid albums of all time, The Score.
Breaking Point: When things hit the breaking point, all fingers pointed at Hill. Jean wrote in his autobiography, Purpose, that his affair with Hill led to the Fugee’s ruin.
Group Members: Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren, DJ Yella, and Arabian Prince
Years Active: 1986-1991
Dubbed the “world’s most dangerous group,” N.W.A. (short for N*ggaz Wit Attitudes) was credited for its ghetto-entrenched narratives that introduced a whole, new level of ‘hood mentality. It paved way to today’s most successful solo careers, including Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Easy-E. Even after these Compton boys were dissolved, their legacy lived on.
Breaking Point: There was no specific reason the group broke up besides pursuing solo careers and some bitter rivalries.
When powerful hip-hop forces unite, it gives birth to household names that are linked forever in music history. Though these rap duos and hip-hop groups parted ways, their names have become inseparable. And though their act wasn’t able to stand the test of time, they produced a legacy that endures.
Among those on the list, who do you think deserves a second chance?
Image Sources: Flickr | Courtesy of Alex Abian; Wikipedia; RapFix MTV; HipHopWired
Bea Canuel holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and finds her stride in content writing and editing. Aside from being a certified logophile, Bea is also a bookworm and filmaholic in the making, who goes crazy over fashion, sweets, and anything vintage.