As is Hip Hop Awards - Lyricist of the Year
Now we get into a more technical award, because you don't have to have the best album to win this, but just putting together a consistent year of bars and verses that are solid with both the skills such as metaphors, similes, alliteration and vocabulary mixed with solid content. This is an attempt to strip away catchy hooks and beats to focus on the words.
Lyricist of the Year
Drake - sike gtfoh until you can prove to me he is writing all of his own rhymes I can never consider this average lyrics having rappers as one of the best on this list again and I just want to put that out there. Back to Back can't save this guy because all of his accomplishments are in question in my mind.
Lupe Fiasco - Lupe is the guy that rap genius is meant for. His flow is smooth, straight up 90's Nas type flow with the smoothness of AZ because he maintains his patterns better than anyone else. Over both of his releases this year Lupe dropped some of the most complex bars in rap.
King Los - Los finally got the chance to show who he is and can be as an artist. He finally dropped his album and it was a bit better than expected although it had no singles. Los has the ability to make singles be more complex than before- see "No Options" by Kid Ink for example. He showed he is more than just bars with his release.
Wale - Wale is underrated as a lyricist and as a more emotional rapper than he is given credit for. He does a good job at being a poetic emcee in the vein of Common and his flow sometimes throws people off. With the ability to go to pretty much any part of the rap spectrum he showed he does have the ability to hang.
Kendrick Lamar - Here is the thing you don't stop with just his solo album but then go into the classic Man remix plus the records he helped pen for Dr. Dre on Compton and Kendrick has had a more than solid year with the bars.
The Winner is:
I actually tried my best to find a reason to give this to someone other than Lupe because of his penchant to make things as difficult as possible it seems. He also often puts his foot into his mouth or on his tweets as it may be although he is willing to go down with them but I just can't. I wanted to try and justify Kendrick because of his overall work but Lupe put in just as much and was more consistent and his flow is better. While Tetsuo is best consumed in chunks and not all at once it still is a superb example of just what hip-hop really is. Something designed for you to sit back and really acknowledge the poetry and ability as well as the subject matter. He then dropped another EP just for the hell of it. It's just no way around it, Lupe is a lyrical beast and deserves to be regarded as such by more than just indie and underground press.