In response to the Big Sean-strangled deliberations of the MTV cabal, a separate Illuminati formed to create their own “Top 10 Rappers in the Game.” Note the semantic difference. The idea was to pick the Top 10 rappers, not the ten hottest, not the most pop-savvy, not the most commercially relevant. I interpreted it as the 10 Best, based on contributions in 2012. Since Danny Brown didn’t realize a commercial album, he ranked lower than he did on POW’s 2012 list. Ishmael of Shabazz Palaces took the year off, so he didn’t make the cut. I didn’t include Future because I consider him more of a singer than a rapper. You see where I’m going with this.

The list directly below is the results of the survey. Like all surveys, it flattens out personal idiosyncrasy. That’s just how it goes. Be thankful that Joey Bada$$ didn’t make the list to embarrass us all (he was supposedly very close). There is also Drake but no Gunplay to be found, which is a grievous error on everyone’s part. Below the jump is a list of the voters, alongside my own personal picks. Deen will drop his own list tomorrow, which will make up for the insufficient trippiness on this litany. If your favorite rapper isn’t on this list, cry tears of blood and then make your own. –Weiss

Credit or blame Jaap van der Doelen of The Rap Up for the seed of this scheme.

The Bloggerati’s Top 10 Rappers in the Game

  1. Kendrick Lamar
  2. Nas
  3. Action Bronson
  4. Freddie Gibbs
  5. Killer Mike
  6. Pusha T
  7. Drake
  8. Roc Marciano
  9. Kanye West
  10. Big K.R.I.T.


My Personal List

1. Kendrick Lamar — The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wasteoids, dweebies, dickheads — They all adore Kendrick. They think he’s a righteous dude. For the first time since Ferris, they’re right

2. Killer Mike — Dungeon Family vet gets with El-P, reinvents political rap for the new decade, makes the best album of his career, puts the fear of God in Nancy Reagan. All in a year’s work.

3. Freddie Gibbs — The scariest thing about Gibbs might be that he has continued to improve every year and he was great from the get-go.

4. Aesop Rock — One day they will understand.

5. Schoolboy Q — Gangsta rap seen through the prism of Portishead and angel dust. Name one other rapper who could make Menomena into a banger.

6. Roc Marciano – Pimp rap at its most poisonous.

7. Danny Brown — He took a year off to tour and record and his cameos and one-offs were better than almost anyone on this list.

8. Action Bronson — I mean, he is my grandfather.

9. Nas — Comeback of the year? Comeback of the decade?

10. Gunplay — The human bath salt. If he spent his money on mastering instead of marijuana, he’d probably be even higher.

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