Best Hip-Hop Act

Long Beach rapper LMNO, which stands for “Leave My Name Out” (incidentally, his real name is James Kelly), is a member of hip-hop group the Visionaries, but his list of collaborators is longer than the list of women who claim to have had affairs with Tiger Woods. After all, this is the year LMNO promised to drop the 10-album boom bap anthology he swore he'd finish in 2010—the ambitious rhyme slinger needs all the help he can get. For this project, he worked with many of his cohorts over the Internet—which is great because he saved a ton of money on flights, considering the geographic mix of people on his albums. There's French producer Yann Kesz; JFK, a.k.a. Ninja Face, from Greyskul; Lorett Fleur and Kev Brown; SoCal beat-maker Dert; San Diego rapper Mr. Brady; and Cincinnati producer Theory Hazit. As a result, the albums are an eclectic mix of electronica beats, impressive freestyles, open-ended hooks and more. If nothing else, LMNO gets mad props for embarking on such a huge endeavor—that he's making great music out of it, well, that's just a bonus for fans like us.

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