Best Hip-Hop Artist

DJ Crucial

With this year's release of Test Presses and Dub Plates—an album eight years in the making that features collaborations with everyone from MF Doom to MC Eiht—DJ Crucial went from being St. Louis' best hip-hop DJ to being our best hip-hop artist. The album's transitions, scratches and (most impressively) production show that Crucial is hip-hop's Steve Nash; in other words, he makes everyone around him better. A longtime DJ at Blueberry Hill's Friday-night party, The Science, he now boasts props from national publications such as URB, XXL and Scratch. Folks around the nation are becoming hip to what we've known for years: Much like Cleveland, Crucial rocks.
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