Best Intimate Big Show: J. Cole
One of the few giant names in hip-hop that actually showed up this year was J. Cole, and what a set he delivered. Crowds waited in line for hours to get a chance at a ticket, with even credential holders getting turned away at the door. When Cole finally took the stage after a few short sets from his Dreamville labelmates, he more than justified fans' efforts to see him. His conversations with the massive crowd felt like confessions, and even when amped-up audience members started crowdsurfing on the floor level, his set — which included songs from The Warm Up all the way through to 2014 Forest Hills Drive — had the personal vibe of a show in a much smaller room.