It's that moment we've all been waiting for - we obviously saved the best and most important (as far as we're concerned) for last. This was the category with by far the most votes, and while it was a close race for second place between Cole and Kendrick, it was ultimately Big K.R.I.T. and Killer Mike who can call themselves Best Emcee of 2014 award winners.
Reader's Pick: Big K.R.I.T.
Big K.R.I.T. sure is a man of the people. The Mississippi native has already taken home the reader's pick award for Best Song ("Mt. Olympus") and Best Album (Cadillactica) so it's only right he takes home best emcee too; DJBooth Nation is nothing if not consistent. Three awards is a lot for one artist, but when you look at the body of work, it's hard to argue. K.R.I.T has found that rare space where commercial appeal and substance work together in perfect harmony. Cadillactica helped expose him to a larger audience who now see what hip-hop heads have known for years. Coincidentally, those same hip-hop heads could listen to this album and smile because Krizzle was as powerful, smooth, and poetic as he has ever been. The proof is in the music and no amount of words can capture the sheer force of K.R.I.T. I'll let "Mt. Olympus" do all the talking. This folks, is an emcee.
Staff Pick: Killer Mike
Anyone can be a great rapper but it takes something special, something that goes beyond lyricism and flow, to be a truly great emcee. That special essence isn't always quantifiable, but Killer Mike has it in spades. Sure, on the mic his passion, strength and clenching command are unrivaled - it's what helped Run The Jewels take home two other awards (for Best Album and Best Producer) but it's what he stands for off the mic that really set him apart from anyone currently rapping. This year, in the wake of some horrible, tragic injustices, many asked, "Where was hip-hop?" Hip-hop was where Killer Mike was. Whether it was an appearances on CNN, a emotional, powerful pre-show speech, or a profile on NPR, Mike, the son of a police officer, was the the one who stood up loudest and strongest both through his music and his life. Though he was fighting for so much more than rap, Mike was a living and breathing example of what an emcee should be. He is hip-hop.
Congrats to Krizza and Mike, the art of emceeing is obviously alive and well. And for the complete list of award winners, hit that link below: