Every generation needs its poets and here's the 23 musical scribes who define 2010.

Meanwhile, you can vote for the best lyricists ever here.

Words: Emily Mackay, Matt Wilkinson, Barry Nicolson, Mark Beaumont, Laura Snapes, Dan Martin, Sam Wolfson, Martin Robinson, Jaimie Hodgson


The enigmatic 34-year-old rap upstart has many-a breath baited for the prophetic contents of his long-awaited debut album

Why is Jay Electronica in this list? Because ‘Exhibit C’ is the most accomplished piece of ‘conscious rap’ this millennium – perhaps ever.

The reason why Jay’s been heralded as such a saviour is because he delivers thought-provoking, mind-expanding lyricism with as much swagger and bravado as the squillion-selling ‘gangsta’ figures of the hip-hop mainstream. He never feels preachy or pseudo-intellectual, instead dissecting everything from hip-hop’s internal fracas to the human race’s eternal search for spiritual enlightenment.

If his debut long-player can harness as much brimstone as we’ve heard from him thus far, the world won’t fail to sit up and listen. JH

Key lyric: “They call me Jay Electronica/Fuck that, call me Jay ElecHannukah/Jay ElecYarmulke/Jay ElecRamadaan Muhammad Asalaamica RasoulAllah Supana Watallah through your monitor/My uzi still weighs a ton/Check the barometer”
(‘Exhibit C’, 2010 single)


Latest Jay Electronica News

Jay Electronica brings out guest Jay Z at Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest

Jay Electronica brings out guest Jay Z at Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest

Rapper also welcomed J Cole, Talib Kweli and Mac Miller to the stage at New York festival

Jay Electronica's long delayed debut album 'in the last stages of recording'

The Bullitts has revealed that the LP is finally nearing completion

  • Jul 18, 2013

Kanye West, Jay-Z, Diddy to appear on Jay Electronica's long-awaited debut album

Charlotte Gainsbourg and Erykah Badu are also set for ’Act II: Patents Of Nobility (The Turn)’

  • Jul 30, 2012

More Jay Electronica News

Latest Tickets - Booking Now
Know Your NME

NME Store & Framed Prints
Inside NME.COM