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Best MC 

Joe Good

Jamal Gamby had already gained recognition as one-half of the MC-producer duo SoundsGood, whose Biscuits & Gravy came out last year, to much acclaim. As a solo artist on his and Mac Lethal's Black Clover imprint, Gamby -- aka Joe Good -- truly came into his own as a rhymer and stage rocker and, basically, an MC in full. His confident flow, tempered by funk influences and hard-ass beat poetics, was the kind of delivery that blows air out of the speakers on every consonant and transforms the mic into a crowd-controlling megaphone. No longer the party-boy rapper backed by can't-fail beats, on Hi May I Help You? Good displays the kind of skills that don't even need a thumpin' 808 behind them to grab attention. Meanwhile, offstage, he has worked to unite the fractious hip-hop community, appealing to fans of the backpack hip-hop set and also to hardcore rappers who ride east of Troost. Because Joe Good ain't in it just for himself -- he's here for KC.

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