13. Kevin Gates, 'The Luca Brasi Story'
Kevin Gates is what the South's been missing – a lyricist dealing with heavy topics like depression and heartbreak with the work ethic of a drug-runner steady on the grind. It's incredible and emotional, even as the Baton Rouge MC stays positively numb: On the organ-stomping standout "Paper Chasers," he says, "Live the hustle, probably die, gangsta and etcetera." Damn.