Who are the Top 10 Hip Hop / Rap artists in the game right now? This isn’t a lifetime achievement award, hence why names such as Eminem/50 Cent/etc. aren’t present. Click on the name for a song I’ve chosen that I like from him/them. Enjoy.

Quick note: 11 would probably be Wiz Khalifa, I wish I could’ve put him on the list. Also, this isn’t a lifetime achievement award,

10. The Kings Dead

The Boston group, formerly known as The Dean’s List, creates some of the best independent music right now. Consisting of rapper Aziz Francois, producer DJ Mendoza and sometimes Mik Beats, The Kings Dead just released their first project under their new name and it’s pretty awesome. Definitely check out Jerusalem and give it a try.

 

9. Lupe Fiasco

In recognition of his newest album release, Lupe earns a spot on this list. Only reason it isn’t higher is because L.A.S.E.R.S. was way too watered down for him and he keeps threatening on retiring. Frankly, that gets old eventually. The man is a great rapper though and I’m sure Food & Liquor 2 will be solid at the least.

 

8. A$AP Rocky

Mentioned on my most anticipated albums as well, A$AP’s definitely making a name for himself, and it’s time to pay attention. It’s hard to not like his sound in one way or another. Purple Swag is fun and kind of stupid, while Out of This World and Goldie show his elite rapping ability.

 

7. XV

Not many people have heard about the rapper from Wichita, Kansas, but I don’t know why. One of the cleverest and creative artists I’ve listened to, XV continually puts out quality music, as he’s tallied up something around 15 mixtapes at this point. His debut album, The Kid With the Green Backpack, is supposed to come out sometime soon and maybe that’ll put him on the map.

 

6. Meek Mill

Not too much to say about Meek. He’s a great young talent, not for his lyricism or thoughtfulness but just for his energy. He makes catchy songs and anytime he works with Wale, it works. I’m really excited for his first album as are a lot of rap fans. His latest single with Kirko Bangz hasn’t caught on yet, which hopefully isn’t a sign for the rest of the album.

 

5. Big Sean

Maybe one of my favorites, Big Sean just had one of the biggest years any rapper can have. And to think he’s only had one album too. The G.O.O.D. music member had multiple hits on Finally Famous, killed it on Cruel Summer, and in between released a heartfelt and deep mixtape with Detroit. The kid is talented.

 

4. Wale

Let me start this by saying, I wish he wasn’t signed to MMG. Wale is so unique and gifted, but by rolling with Rick Ross, he’ll always be limited in his creativity. More About Nothing remains one of my favorite albums of all time. The sky is the limit for the man from D.C.

 

3. Kendrick Lamar

Even though I haven’t been on to “K-Dot” for that long, I can appreciate how good his music has been and what he can become. This may be more of a projection than an actual reflection on what he’s done so far, but I don’t think anyone can touch his lyricism right now. Listen to Section.80 and I guarantee you’ll find something on there you’ll like.

2. Kid Cudi

Maybe I’m a little biased, but I absolutely love Cudi and have to put him this high. Even though he hasn’t released a rap album in almost two years, Cudi is still hugely influential in the industry. Thankfully, he’ll back to his bread and butter with the release of Indicud, which I know I will put on repeat when it comes out. Especially if he gets people like A$AP Rocky, Kendrick, and Kanye.

1. The Throne (Kanye/Jay-Z)

Speaking of Kanye, how can this list end with anyone else besides these two? Starting with My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, continuing with Watch the Throne and ending with Cruel Summer, Kanye just released three fairly incredible and impactful albums in less than two years. And Jay-Z hasn’t just sat by and watched. Watch the Throne sounded more like Jay’s style anyway, with Kanye helping out, and he’s appeared on both of the other albums. Oh, and he’s had a baby with Beyonce, been active as an owner of the newly relocated Brooklyn Nets and executive produced NBA2k13. These guys are unstoppable right now, just relax and enjoy.