Best Open Mic
When Fifth Element relaunched its open mic six years ago, there was much excitement, as the Rhymesayers HQ has famously drawn huge crowds for upstart rhymers to play to. Held every first Thursday of the month, the open mic continues to be a viable launching pad for artists looking to break into the already crowded Twin Cities hip-hop scene. With so many hopefuls in the state, it's a huge opportunity for a beginner to perform on the same stage that Aesop Rock, P.O.S, and Prof have all performed on and get exposure that's typically reserved for established acts. Though it's never received the recognition it deserves as the premier open mic spot in town (most likely due to the genre-exclusive format), Fifth Element gets the nod this year for continuing to uphold the quality standard Rhymesayers has set and helping to introduce jittery neophytes to an audience that's always hungry for new hip-hop.