Drake, Lil Wayne, 50 Cent: Who Had The Year’s Best Mixtapes?

I can’t lie: This was definitely my most fun year covering mixtapes. In the MTV News hip-hop world, we went from exploring the underground scene once a week with “Mixtape Monday” to checking in five days a week with “Mixtape Daily.” As always, your support is considered a huge blessing and is never taken for granted.

It wasn’t that long ago when people were saying mixtapes were dead. Word? Nah. Mixtapes are forever no matter what. DJs, MCs and even singers jumped heavy into the mix this year. 50 Cent, Young Jeezy, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Jadakiss, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, R. Kelly, DJ Drama, Drake, Gucci Mane, OJ Da Juiceman, DJ Khaled — the list is endless. On Monday (December 14), we’re going to be saluting the elite of the top dogs (and kittens — what up Nicki?). All week long, we’ll be trumpeting the people who had the most impact on the underground circuit.

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On Monday we jump everything off when we announce our Mixtape of the Year. On Tuesday (December 15), we’ll bring you the year’s other top tapes. On Wednesday (December 16), get ready for some controversy when we announce our pick for DJ of the Year. The following day, we highlight our Firestarter of the Year — the rookie who broke through in a major way. Finally, on Friday (December 17) we bring the pick for Mixtape Artist of the Year.

Hip-hop, we did it again. Let’s make 2010 even greater and more historic.