Drake, Kid Cudi, Wale Named 'Gangsta Killers Of The Year' By GQ

The magazine praises the MCs for their wit and focus on 'real life' in Men of the Year issue.

As we predicted back in January, [artist id="2990927"]Wale[/artist], [artist id="3066140"]Kid Cudi[/artist] and [artist id="2545682"]Drake[/artist] have had a huge impact on hip-hop this year. They've not only built a buzz for themselves, but they've found themselves standing alongside the likes of [artist id="1269"]Jay-Z[/artist], [artist id="502642"]Eminem[/artist], [artist id="1230523"]Kanye West[/artist] and [artist id="860639"]50 Cent[/artist]. And, as GQ magazine points out, they've helped to quell hip-hop's gangster persona and usher in a real-life focus. The three MCs are featured in the GQ's Men of the Year issue in an article titled "Gangsta Killers."

"Anybody from Cleveland will tell you, I wasn't in the street," Kid Cudi said. "Ask them, they'll say, 'Scotty was the goofy class clown.' "

The article points out the contrast between songs about "duct-taped kilos, exotic firearms, and freaky girls" and the lyrics of this up-and-coming generation of rappers. Cudi's introspective raps have helped secure him a dedicated following that propelled his single, "Day N' Nite," into a top-five hit and stoner anthem, and his debut album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day, sold over 100,000 thousand copies in its first week. Wale's attention to lyrical detail has established him as D.C.'s first major hip-hop artist, and his live show earned him a spot as the leader of this year's VMA house band and touring with Jay-Z. And Drake, whose So Far Gone mixtape and "Best I Ever Had" single made him the object of a label bidding war this summer, stood verse-for-verse with Eminem, Lil Wayne and Kanye West on "Forever."

While they have each helped to establish a new aesthetic for rap, they aren't too keen on being called "Gangsta Killers."

"The dope boy is going to be a fixture of black culture as long as 'thug' is a legitimate option alongside 'job,' " Drake told GQ. "But I'm not going to rap about how much crack I sold."