Top Hip-Hop Artists of 2011

Top Artist (defn): A culmination of talent, lyrical ability, swag, album sales, and evolution of the art & culture of hip-hop.

2011 has been a very interesting year for hip-hop/rap music to say the least. With gangster rap on its way out the door, there is a new class of rap (emo-rap, backpack rap, internet rap, commercial rap, etc) that has taken over the airwaves. It’s not cool to be a gangster anymore. The lines of pop and mainstream music have blurred with the addition to hip-hop rhymthms and culture to reach a wider audience. Hip-hop meet gentrication.

Down below, you will find the list for the top 10 hip-hop artists of 2011. Thank you for the wonderful year.

Honorable Mention (No particular order):
Eminem, Young Jeezy, Childish Gambino, Lil B, Curren$y

Curren$y is a constant & diligent worker in hip-hop. With Covert Coupe, Verde Terrace, Weekend at Bernies, Return to the Winner’s Circle, and putting out a cd for his JET LIFE crew, he deserves to be mentioned as one of the top artist.

10. Mac Miller

Sold over 100,000 albums his first week by himself. With a little help from his record label. Nonetheless, Mac Miller has been a presence in hip-hop throughout 2011.

9. Big Sean
Signed with Ye and the GOOD Music label, The Luis-Vuitton Sean Don had a great year. Boi!!

8. Lupe

He called President Obama a damn terrorist (foolio). But he did move 200-Plus thousand his first week – #DumbedItDown

7. Nicki Minaj

She got that boom-ba-boom-ba-boom that SUPER BASS. She held it down on the airwaves and is currently the only mainstream female rapper doing her thang (And she got a big-ole booty)!!

6. Rick Ross & the Mayback Music Group

Commericial rap is back. Rick Ross is leading the commercial rap with his label making a lot of noise in 2011. Wale did numbers, Meek Millz did features, and Stalley and the rest of the gang is next up. Ross & MMG because 2011 made them codependent. Can anybody do anything without a cosign these days?

5. Wiz Khalifa

Roll Up & Black & Yellow – too bad the Steelers didn’t win the Superbowl in 2011. Anyways, Wiz went strong in shows, sales, singles, and the whole sha-bang. He had the Internet going CRAYZAY

4. J. Cole

Certified Gold! Album was almost a classic (depends on who you’re talking to). The sideliner took over when he finally got in the game this year.

3. Lil Wayne

Most album sales this year for first week sales. Young Money label rocketeer. 2011 is Weezy’s year.

2. Jay-Z & Kanye

Any group of people who can perform a song 6-plus, even 8 times and still have people screaming for more deserves a spot at the top for 2011. Watch the Throne would’ve killed hip-hop, but sorry to say rap is a young man’s sport these days.

1. Drake

Courtesy of Serenaz's Photostream (Flickr)

A Jewish & Canadian & Child TV Star & Affluent rapper? Doesn’t sound too appealing when you look at hip-hop, but Drake is the bridge between pop, r&b, and rap nowadays. Drake is leading the pack for artists ion 2011. Venturing away from Weezy for a fresh start in 2012 should only lead to better things for the young rap star phenom.