Best Hip Hop Record (Unsigned/Independent) of 2009

Reader's Pick

Wiz Khalifa - This Plane  Artwork

Wiz Khalifa - This Plane

Wiz Khalifa was just one of many artists to leave their major-label home and go indie in '09, but he certainly did it with more panache than most. E Dan-produced single “This Plane” left the Booth fully convinced that, Deal or No Deal, the Steel City representative was headed straight to the top – First Class, no layovers.

Staff Pick

K. Sparks ft. Julius Francis – Sunshine Artwork

K. Sparks ft. Julius Francis – Sunshine

In these tough times we all need a little "Sunshine" in our lives, and so we couldn't have been happier when DJBooth favorite K. Sparks, along with Julius Francis, delivered a slice of hip-hop joy to our doorstep in April. Always lyrically complex, on "Sunshine" Sparks took a particularly personal turn, letting us all into his head, and leaving us feeling a little better for having listened. And just in case this is sounding overly saccharine, the track's also pretty goddamn dope.