Who's Got Bars

Who’s Got Bars: Common vs Mos Def

These guys are two of the first, and most important contributors to conscious hip-hop, and both of them being at it since at least the early 90’s, pushing knowledge to fans through their lyricism. But who’s got more bars? let’s look at some of their earliest work:

Mos Def: “Yo, it’s one universal law but two sides to every story
Three strikes and you be in for life, manditory
Four MC’s murdered in the last four years
I ain’t tryin to be the fifth one, the millenium is here
Yo it’s 6 Million Ways to Die, from the seven deadly thrills
Eight-year olds gettin found with 9 mill’s
It’s 10pm, where your seeds at? What’s the deal
He on the hill puffin krill to keep they belly filled
Light in the ass with heavy steel, sights on the pretty shit in life
Young soldiers tryin to earn they next stripe
When the average minimum wage is $5.15
You best believe you gotta find a new ground to get cream
The white unemployment rate, is nearly more than triple for black
so frontliners got they gun in your back
Bubblin crack, jewel theft and robbery to combat poverty
and end up in the global jail economy
Stiffer stipulations attached to each sentence
Budget cutbacks but increased police presence
And even if you get out of prison still livin
join the other five million under state supervision
This is business, no faces just lines and statistics
from your phone, your zip code, to S-S-I digits
The system break man child and women into figures
Two columns for who is, and who ain’t niggaz
Numbers is hardly real and they never have feelings
but you push too hard, even numbers got limits
Why did one straw break the camel’s back? Here’s the secret:
the million other straws underneath it.. it’s all mathematics.”

Common: “Like an entrepeneur, that stepped in maneur
man I’m newer than a Jack I went up the hill with Jill
And Jack chills big bootay
But then the booty up, I told the bitch she better have my money
Or step to the AMG
You know Com Sense, oh yeah him be
That nigga that be making all the bid-by-by-bye sounds
But since then, Common calm down!
I’m on some calm shit watch Com get complicated
Simple motherfuckers say the way that Com communicated
was too complex, I got a complex not to complain
on my brain no complain and so will my community
And I prefer compliments
So I complement at an angle, of ninety degrees
It’s the ninties, and music got known for grease
I got a sense of direction and a compass
Come past MC’s with compassion, though I heard the screams of
But I ain’t shy, so why shall I comfort
Commiserate at the fort with Jeff I’m so ill
But I chilled in my compartment with no company and no meals
Now Com can get the panty, but I want my own company
And Com is on a mission not to work for commission
It’s a common market and it’s so much competition
but to me, competition is none
To my comp I’m a ton I get amped like Watts in a riot
my compact disc is a commodity, so buy it
Instead of competing with Pete
Com compromised, Com made a promise
Not to commercialize, but compound the soul.”

In my personal opinion, Common and Mos Def are both important in different aspects, each of them having their own niche. Common may be expanding minds through self-help and encouragement where as Mos Def focuses his attention on utilizing lyrical wordplay and acknowledging social issues. Both of these emcees are extremely beneficial for hip-hop, who do you think has better bars?

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