As is Hip Hop Awards - Lyricist of the Year

This year I think I was slightly disappointed by the candidates overall because I was expecting to really have this be tough. However, I really never got beyond the five finalists. Now there are some of you who actually think 2 Chainz and Big Sean are lyricists or good rappers, I pity you because they both often spit incredibly simple verses and lack subject matter. For the rest of you, here is my list,

5. J. Cole - I went back and forth with this between Cole and Drake but at the end of the day, I really listened through that Nothing Was The Same and Drake really doesn't have a lot of metaphors and similes and the basic subject matter of how he is nice doesn't really hold up as well as his penchant for R and B. Cole, while terribly overrated did at least seem to make some attempts at creative lyrics and topics. He slid some stuff on 'Power Trip' and 'Crooked Smile' and his mixtapes leading up to the album had some decent imagery.

4. Pusha-T - Pusha's biggest flaw is that he only has one subject. His biggest asset he does it masterfully. He somehow manages to have his delivery timed right to emphasize the right thing at the right time and his vocabulary choices seem to fit and be just a step above similar rappers like Rick Ross.

3. Jay-Z - Magna Carta was not his best album by any means but as I said before this year, Jay can roll out of bed and drop bars that can contend with the best of this generation. Some of the concepts on the album were the same as he has done before and sometimes he can seem to try a tad bit hard to be extra lyrical and it comes off a little awkward with a simile that seemes too easy for a rapper of his caliber, but he is still solid. And when Jay uses something like "instagram" or the phrase "in his feelings" it means more because he isn't always running around yelling it.

2. Wale- Wale is also extra solid. His album might be an overlooked effort because he gets so much hate but it was one of the best of the year. Every album Wale drops has at least one poignant track and "Golden Salvation" was that on The Gifted. He also shined on "88" and the song with Cee-Lo is really deep. While his flow turns some off when you stop and actually listen to his lyrics the boy spits and says something. Even when he is talking about a trite subject like "Bricks" it is from a unique perspective.

1. Kendrick Lamar - Before we even get to the 'Control' verse which embarassed half of the popular rap industry, we still had the album which was straight up fire with lyricism and concepts both individually and overall as an album. That wasn't easy to do, then there were his features which were all intended as he mentioned on the verse with Big Sean, to take out whoever else was on the track with him, including "Memories Back When" where he spit some serious fire alongside TI and B.O.B. It's a true testament to his abilities that he is able to keep his standards high while being as popular as he has but Kendrick has done it.


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