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Kendrick Lamar, BET Awards

Kendrick Lamar

Not only has Kendrick Lamar’s debut, good kid, m.A.A.d. city, been hailed as an instant classic, but he’s dominated almost every song he’s guested on.

Azealia Banks, BET Awards

Azealia Banks

Azealia Banks made headlines for beefing with the world on Twitter, but she backed it up with spitfire bars on songs like “Yung Rapunxel.”

Joey Bada$$, BET Awards

Joey Bada$$

This Brooklyn MC’s past 12 months included an acclaimed debut mixtape, a banging single with DJ Premier, and a fiery verse at the BET Hip Hop Awards.

Trinidad Jame$, BET Awards

Trinidad Jame$

Trinidad James’ “All Gold Everything” music video was a YouTube sensation, landing him millions of views — and millions of dollars from Def Jam.

The Weeknd, BET Awards

The Weeknd

The Weeknd’s huge year was highlighted by his debut LP, Trilogy, which hit gold despite the fact that it mainly consisted of music from free mixtapes.

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