Kevin Nottingham's This is Hip Hop has a running series called "Who Flipped It Better?" that we're hijacking to get your thoughts on an epic flow battle - Rza vs. Nas vs. Mos Def.
Message From A Black Man
Composed by Barrett Strong-Norman Whitfield
Performed by The Temptations
Souled On Music says "The Temptations released the track in 1969 on their Puzzle People LP. Although some critics and fans viewed the song's lyrics as being too political and militant, the track still became a popular radio request. It's often been said that The Temptations themselves were concerned about the tune being too forward-thinking for the times, resulting in their reluctance to play the track during live performances."
But nothing's too controversial these days though, right Nas? "Message" was also recorded or sampled by Charles Earland, Don Julian, S.O.U.L., Byron Lee & The Dragonaires, Mickey & The Soul Generation, The Spinners, The Whatnauts, and Derrick Harriott, MF Doom, and probably Girl Talk.
So considering production, flow and message - who flipped it better?
Mos Def - Undeniable (from True Magic, December 2006)
Rza - You Cant Stop Me Now feat. Inspectah Deck (from Digi Snax, March/June 2008)
Nas - You Can't Stop Us Now feat. Eban Thomas (from Nas, July 2008)