Best Emcee of 2013
2013 was the year that Eminem returned from a three year hiatus to remind the world that not only is he one of the most popular rappers on the planet, he's one of the best. (Note: Those two things are deeply related.) With MMLP2, the quasi-sequel to his classic album, as his proving ground, Mr. Mathers exhibited a mix of technical precision, complex lyricism and mind-bending flows that showed that not only has he not lost a step, but in some ways he's stronger than ever. Or to put it another way, if there's an intergalactic rap battle for the future of Earth, after what he did in 2013 you have to go with Eminem as the planet's representative, right? Exactly. The man's a Rap God for a reason.
Chance The Rapper
While we were as impressed by Eminem's emcee skills as anyone, ultimately we had to go with Chance the Rapper here. It's hard to understate just how much of an impact the Chicago artist had in '13. In 2012, almost no one outside of a handful of loyal fans and local residents knew who he was. But by the end of 2013 there wasn't a hip-hop fan breathing who didn't know him. Acid Rap picked up a bevy of Mixtape of the Year awards, but that wasn't accomplished because of any gimmicks, trends or major label marketing. Chance's style is extraordinarily unique, fearlessly creative and impressively versatile; everything we look for from our favorite emcees. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Chance the Rapper, you're reigning Emcee of the Year (at last as far as we're concerned).