Award: Underground Artist To Watch
Nominees: Alex Wiley, Mick Jenkins, Vice Staples
Breakdown: Alex Wiley has a distinct sound and an even more distinct look. After dropping his well received mixtape Village Party he’s earned his keep this year. Mick Jenkins poured it on with The Water[s], a concept project that came out of nowhere and is popping up on year-end lists everywhere. Then there is Vince Staples who we nominated even though he had a little bit of a head start on the competition. He dropped multiple projects this year (Shyne Coldchain 2.0, Hell Can Wait) and had a star making turn on Common’s “The Kingdom” earlier this year.
Winner: Vince Staples