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Staff Pick

Best Local Rapper
Lute

This has been a breakout year for Charlotte native Lute and his Forever FC crew. It was Lute in particular that made the collective's initial splash, releasing his first mixtape, West1996, to widespread critical acclaim, dismissing the preconceived notion that the only thing Charlotte's westside could produce was trap rap. His Queen City-centric stories chronicled his Southern upbringing over beats even the most staunch "real hip-hop" head could love. He's only 23, so expect him to get even better with seasoning.

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