2011 was an eventful year for hip hop. The emergence of new superstars, the affirmation of established legends and their greatness and the sad, untimely deaths of a pair of 90s hip hop legends all gave resonance to the past year. HipHopBlog.com once again decided to list the 100 individuals that sat at the top of hip hop's cache in 2011, and we've included a diverse roster of artists, executives, entrepreneurs and personalities.
There were several new faces that changed the 2011 hip hop landscape. Upstarts like the West Coast collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All and Pittsburgh stoner-rap star Wiz Khalifa became household names, while indie maverick Mac Miller reshaped the way a new artist can promote themselves and their art. Several of hip hop's most 'thoughtful' artists found themselves embroiled in controversy this year; with Lupe Fiasco, Common and the Roots all sitting at the center of political firestorms and proving why they are among hip hop's best-suited for such debates.
At the very top of hip hop music and culture, moguls like Diddy and Jay-Z continued to display a golden touch in 2011. Both men were among the year's top earners, and both men had much success throughout the year--both as artists (Diddy's Dirty Money project, Jay-Z's uber-successful Watch the Throne) campaign, and as executives with Bad Boy Records and Roc Nation, respectively.
Hip hop is an ever-evolving artform and a thriving culture. The Hip Hop 100 celebrates both sides of the coin and reminds fans and artists that there are a myriad of ways to make your presence felt in the game. These are the people that have mastered all of them.