Killer Mike, Pl3dge
Though Killer Mike got his break as a tough-guy OutKast guest, he has increasingly established himself as the favorite political rapper of people who hate political rappers. The blunt-spoken Atlanta MC’s stylish, impassioned outrage culminates on Pl3dge, which samples a wrestler’s boasts one moment, calls out Jay-Z for obscuring the huge power gulf between himself and the billionaires who actually run our world the next, and never forgets to balance its pox-on-both-parties vitriol with equally furious entertainment. That it only spent one week on Billboard’s Top 200 list — at No. 115 — just reinforces Mike’s righteousness.