Best New Artist (Unsigned/Independent) of 2009

Reader's Pick

K. Sparks Artwork

K. Sparks

'09 was a big, big year for longtime reader favorite K. Sparks. Not only did the Queens native wrap up his unbelievably consistent, 52-week-long Manic Mondays series, but he kept his fanbase fed with numerous dope mixtape releases, most recently the Super Seniors and Pajozo collaboration Soul Food.

Runner Up:

Staff Pick

XV Artwork


With a huge crop of new artists eager to prove they're more than capable of carrying hip-hop's torch into the future, 2009 was the year all the "hip-hop is dead' nonsense finally got put to rest, but none more so than XV. Simply put, everything the man blessed with his mic turned to gold, and if XV's not signed to a major deal by the end of 2010, maybe it will be time to start declaring a hip-hop state of emergency again.

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