1. Big Boi
Like Phife before him, Big Boi kept OutKast tethered to earth with his streetwise smooth talk, allowing his more abstract partner to achieve transcendence. And he's worked his ass off the last decade to keep the brand alive, making it easier for Andre to drift around, blowing minds with random guest verses, without everyone badgering him for an album. Now that's a wingman.
2. Mick Jones
Joe Strummer was the heart, soul and restless leg of the Clash, but Jones had the pop sense, the coke habit and the rock-star swagger that elevated the group from snaggletoothed punks to the Only Band That Matters.
3. Paul McCartney
Yeah, I said it. Obviously, the Lennon-McCartney dynamic was less Jordan-Pippen than Kobe-Shaq. (In this analogy, George Harrison was Rick Fox and Ringo is Slava Medvedenko.) But someone always has to be No. 2—even if it's really more like No. 1B—and historically, that's Sir Paul and his silly love songs. Come at me, bro.
An inspiration to untalented hangers-on everywhere, the Happy Mondays' human mascot made a whole career of shaking maracas, skipping in place and scoring drugs for the actual musicians, and bless him for it. Without him, we may never have gotten Joel Gion of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, the dancing guy from the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, or Fred Nemo of Portland's own Hazel.
5. Art Garfunkel
Yes, he was the lesser half of one of the more lopsided superstar pairings in music, but that creative unbalance is what ultimately came to define them. In other words, you can't have Simon without the G-Funk. And his turtleneck-and-Jewfro swag? Second to none.
SEE IT: Art Garfunkel plays Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark St., No. 110, on Sunday, Sept. 25. 8 pm. $49.50-$100. All ages.