This year is more of the same, in general the same guys seem to crop up and fill up the list from one year to the next, this year the majority of the six finalists/candidates were on the list last year.
6. Wale- Two years ago I gave Wale my album of the year for his debut "Attention Deficit". Since then he has looked for a new advantage to help since he is on the hip-hop black hole which is Atlantic Records. Since he has joined forces with Maybach Music he has been on a tear, recording constantly and standing out amongst the loose affiliation he is now in. Sometimes, his flow hasn't fit in with the style of MMG and what they intend to do musically but I have confidence that his songwriting ability will shine over the gimmicks.
5. Rick Ross- Rozay has moved up one spot from last year. The flow is almost bullet proof and though pretty much every song is just about alike from the Boss, he still manages to create vivid images with his bars. If you want to hear the hood luxury rap, Ross is the way to go.
4. Game - Jayceon finally showed that ability that we all knew was there with a minimum of name dropping. While he still doesn't have his own identity when he has a feature, The RED album was one of the best of the year and most of that was due to Game's lyrics. "Ricky" and "Good Girls Gone Bad" are just tw examples of the good stuff on the album and his mix tape was also considered one of the year's best. Game did attempt to overwhelm us though with a ridiculous amount of bars over the "Otis" track which i refuse to listen to one person on one beat for that long.
3. Royce da 5'9 - Royce moves up from last year as well when he was the one member of Slaughterhouse I had questions about. This year he solidified himself, though I was really feeling his complete solo effort, he dropped solid mix tape verses and on the Slaughterhouse EP that dropped before the spring. He also followed that up with the Bad Meets Evil Reunion album with Eminem and on the hit single "Lighters" he had the better of the two verses.
2. Jay-Z - Now one of the things holding Jay back is the overall lack of material. Watch the Throne as an album was nothing spectacular to me, especially by Jay and Kanye standards but it was better than most records. Jay also had the better bars consistently on the album but it still wasn't enough although "Murder to Excellence" could be the best album track of the year.
1. Kanye West - I loathe giving anything to Ye because of his annoying temperment but he gets this based upon His solo album which was released at the end of last year. While it did have some empty moments, it was light years ahead of anything and then he followed it up with decent, albeit not great bars on watch the throne. Too many of his verses failed to relate to song hooks and concepts even though they weren't what you would call bad.