Best Hip Hop Artist / Band

Gold Winner Classified

Silver Winner Quake Matthews

Bronze Winner Ghettosocks

It’s been nearly two years since Classified’s last album, and this year’s been more about business—writing and producing for other artists and readying his HalfLife Records to become a full record label, as opposed to a boutique for his music. So while he never stops working, he hasn’t been out front as much. “That’s one of the things I found funny—I didn’t put anything out this year,” says Class AKA Luke Boyd about the Gold win. “But what’s changed the game is streaming and Spotify—people are still listening to your music. That’s the really cool thing. You don’t have to constantly release music; with streaming your back catalogue is wide open forever. When you have 15 albums it’s pretty awesome.” He’s working on the follow-up to Greatful now, expect it in 2018. “Thank you for remembering me,” says Boyd. “Thanks for appreciating what I do.”

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