Jay-Z: A clear favorite to make the Mount Rushmore of Rap, Jay-Z's a supremely gifted writer capable of triple entendres and internal rhyme schemes that can make heads spin. And did we mention he doesn't write any of his lyrics down? Kanye: Best rapper alive? No. Most improved? Maybe. He's still capable of lyrical face-palms ("I'm like the fly Malcolm X / buy any jeans necessary") but he's developed a style that mixes humor, pain and boasts rather seamlessly.
MARIO ANZUONI, REUTERS