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Complex Updates Their 'Best Rapper Alive, Every Year Since 1979' List

By HHL Editors
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Last January, Complex ranked the best rapper alive for every calendar year since 1979. 

They came up with:

1979: Grandmaster Caz 1980: Kurtis Blow 1981: Kool Moe Dee 1982: Melle Mel

1983: Run 1984: Run 1985: LL Cool J 1986: KRS-One

1987: Rakim 1988: Slick Rick 1989: Big Daddy Kane 1990: Ice Cube

1991: Q-Tip 1992: Redman 1993: Snoop Dogg 1994: Nas

1995: The Notorious B.I.G. 1996: 2Pac 1997: The Notorious B.I.G. 1998: DMX

1999: Jay Z 2000: Eminem 2001: Jay Z 2002: Eminem

2003: 50 Cent 2004: T.I. 2005: Jeezy 2006: Lil’ Wayne

2007: Kanye West 2008: Lil’ Wayne 2009: Jay Z

2010: Kanye West 2011: Drake 2012: Drake

2013: Kendrick Lamar 2014: Nicki Minaj 2015: Drake

We've had another year since then, and the website has just selected their best rapper alive of 2016: the appropriately named Chance The Rapper.

Q-Tip, Kendrick Lamar, Young Thug received honorable mention mentions for 16.

Here's what they write about their pick of Chance.

He’s carved a sound—major chords and warm keyboards and stuttering drums—that’s entirely and recognizably his own. Coloring Book didn’t arrive fully-formed; Chance has been shaping his unique brand of music since 2012’s 10 Day, refining what his artistry means and sounds like with his close-knit band the Social Experiment for years. This album, though, was where everything cohered. His rapping is instinctual, bounding from carefully measured measured bars and wordplay to rapturous and guttural expressionism. Not since Kanye West has a rapper so plainly attempted to put every feeling they had into their music.
What do you think of their pick?

It's notable that Chance has never released a proper commercial album and probably never will.

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