Best Hip Hop Artist
It's unbelievable that the queen of Minneapolis hip-hop, Lizzo, hasn't snagged this award even once in past years. She's had her most successful year yet — a performance on the Late Show before Letterman's retirement, her first sold-out headlining show at First Avenue, and the release of her sophomore record, Big Grrrl Small World. That critically acclaimed album features the banging single "Ain't I," a nod to 18th-century activist Sojourner Truth's speech "Ain't I a Woman?," a question the 27-year-old MC roars repeatedly at the end of the song. Her next album won't be self-released, however, as the real-life Melissa Jefferson was signed to Atlantic Records in March. Lizzo's diversion from classic Rhymesayers-esque backpack rap gives Twin Cities hip-hop heads a breath of fresh air with her bold, authentic mix of soulful singing and silly-yet-woke rap bravado.