Kendrick Lamar leads the field with 14 nominations for the eighth-annual BET Hip-Hop Awards, while Drake is close behind with 13 and J. Cole scored 10.
Lamar announced his arrival last year with his celebrated debut album, good kid, m.A.A.d City, and cemented his presence with his recent confrontational verse on Big Sean's "Control." The Los Angeles MC won Lyricist of the Year in 2012. This year, he's up for the same award, along with Best Live Performer, MVP of the Year and Track of the Year for "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe."
Drake – whose next album, Nothing Was the Same, is out September 24th – is also up for Lyricist of the Year, MVP of the Year and Track of the Year for "Started From the Bottom." Cole's nominations include MVP of the Year, Lyricist of the Year, Producer of the Year and Best Live Performer.
The 2014 BET Hip-Hop Awards, hosted by Snoop Dogg, will be taped September 28th at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center. The ceremony will air on October 15th.