Best Local Rapper (2009)

Scarface

Experts call Scarface one of the premier rappers in the country, not just Houston. With new albums out the last three years running (the latest, Emeritus, is rumored to be his last), the 38-year-old South-sider has been going strong for a full two decades. He got his start by helping to make the legendary Geto Boys the first Houston act to hit it big, going a long way toward shaping Houston — and Southern — rap in the process. His smooth, cinematic, often macabre and impossibly cerebral flow has since made him one of the most respected artists in the industry — if not always by casual fans, as his relatively modest record sales suggest. Multi-platinum rappers from DMX and Ludacris to Nas and Jay-Z have emphatically placed him among the best in the business.