2017 has already provided hip hop fans with a massive spectrum of work from all sides of the genre and as the tides of the year turn into the second half, the industry and the genre are in a strong place.
With stand-out songs representing a geo-spread from London to Los Angeles and New York to the Six, there's increasing evidence of hip-hop's global expansion into relatively uncharted territories. And that means more fans, more awareness, more creators.
As another mark of the genre's growth, it continues to have a larger impact on pop culture too. In fact, some of this year's best songs so far have been used in Marvel films, NBA Finals video packages, and highlighted multiple awards shows in performance.
The sheer number of excellent artists in hip-hop have ensured that we have more than enough contenders for the top spot this year, and every MC is just as deserving as the last. And running down their work feels like a tribute to some of the most talented acts in the business.