Being the end of the year it is still very much in the thick of awards season (we had our very own just last week) and to that end, rap encyclopaedia, tastemaker and the always influential Genius website have polled over 2500 avid users of the page to determine who the Top Ten Rap Geniuses for the calendar year 2015 were.
If you’re wondering what exactly goes into the making of a true Rap Genius, a top ten Rap Genius even, they covered that in their prelude by stating definitively:
A “Rap Genius” is someone who has excelled in creating, innovating, and dominating rap music”.
There are more than a few familiar names on the list, though there might be just a little polarisation with some of the inclusions, some of the snubs and the overall rank order of the Top 10. Lupe Fiasco is there at nine after experiencing full redemption for Lasers with the release of this year’s Tetsuo And Youth. Vince Staples got a lot of love for Summertime 06 (check out our hot of the presses interview with him right here), also on the list coming in at number eight.
The General on the front lines of grime’s complete and utter renaissance this year, Skepta came in at number seven. That’s when the list starts getting a little funky, with A$AP Rocky inexplicably ranking in at number six despite the absolute banner year he had off the back of the huge smash album At.Long.Last.A$AP. This is compounded by the fact that people like Young Thug and Travis Scott find themselves ranked higher, which I believe more than a few people may have some qualms with.
Drake also manages to find himself behind Future despite undisputedly dominating rap’s place in the wider pop culture universe with Hotline Bling. Regardless of how you feel about the rest of the list though, I think we can all agree that they hit the proverbial nail smack on the head with their choice for number one, rightfully going to one Kendrick Lamar after he picked up the mantle of rap’s saviour and delivered in spectacular fashion with To Pimp A Butterfly blowing up airwaves all year.
It’s always good to get a perspective on completely subjective matters like this one, even if you don’t think they got it 100% right. The full Top 10 is as follows:
10. Lin-Manuel Miranda
9. Lupe Fiasco
8. Vince Staples
6. A$AP Rocky
5. Travis Scott
4. Young Thug
1. Kendrick Lamar