A few years ago, Complex started coming up with the best rapper alive for every calendar year since 1979.
Here was their list coming into 2017.
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 2016 Chance The Rapper.
For 2017, they've named Kendrick Lamar for the second time.
Jay-Z, Cardi B, Future all got honorable mention for '17.
Here's what they wrote about Kendrick:
"To run rap, you have to create music that applies to a multitude of scenarios and situations. You can’t be the best rapper alive if all you make is music that’s meant to be bumped in headphones. Or that only sounds good at ear-piercing decibels. Or lyrics that are better read on computer screens than recited back to you by rabid fans. Kendrick had all of that, and more. “HUMBLE.,” the first single from the album, and Kendrick’s first solo number one song, was a bop-inducing ditty that was immensely rappable thanks to its simple earworm of a chorus. It was like a photonegative of [TPAB cut] “The Blacker the Berry.”
Do you think Kendrick ran rap in 2017?