Vibe Launches Its 2009 Best Rapper Ever Competition

May 11, 2009, New York City — Who holds the illustrious title of being The Best Rapper Ever? It’s a debate that’s been ongoing among rap fans forever. Now, VIBE magazine and announce the ultimate contest to declare that winner: the 2009 Best Rapper Ever competition.

Here’s how it works:

Think of an expanded version of the popular NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament, setting up a four-tiered bracket, featuring the top 128 rappers ever, as selected by the VIBE content staff. Each tier will host 32 names, which will face off according to their seeding. You can go to to view that list on May 11 with a “Play-In Bracket,” featuring a group of eight “next generation” rappers who will face off for the 128th spot in the competition. Once the competition has officially begun on May 18, VIBE readers will be directed to, where all four tiers will be open for voting. Members of the community can vote for their favorite rappers once a day, with each round lasting a week. At the end of each round, the rapper with the most votes in each match up will move on to the next round. The winner of the tournament will be announced in a spread in VIBE’s September JUICE Issue and on on August 24.

A gatefold containing the four-tiered competition brackets is featured in VIBE’s The Real Rap Issue (June/July 2009, on newsstands May 16) with the names and matchups of all 128 rappers in the opening round. VIBE community members can download, fill out, and submit digital brackets from The reader with the most accurately projected bracket as submitted by May 23 will win an engraved iPod Touch.

In 2008, VIBE readers crowned Eminem “The Best Rapper Alive.” With The Best Rapper Ever contest, VIBE is upping the stakes to include rappers alive and deceased. “It’s obviously an honor to have won the fans’ support by being voted The Best Rapper Alive,” said Eminem in response to his victory in 2008. “I don’t think that there is any one rapper that is simply the best, though. Everyone who was in consideration and many others are the best at certain things and at what they do. But since VIBE’s offering the distinction, hell yeah I’ll accept!”

Throughout the competition, the community will be able to follow video commentary from VIBE editors about the winners of each round, as well as view behind-the-scenes videos of The Best Rapper Ever selection process. The Best Rapper Alive competition was a huge success in 2008, with 928,000 votes placed on and 1,042,000 page views over the duration of the contest.

VIBE magazine is the definitive voice of urban culture, influencing global music, life, and style for more than 7 million monthly readers around the world. The award-winning publication is the nation’s leader in reporting entertainment, fashion, politics, and culture features for a multicultural audience in print and online. VIBE’s innovation, journalistic integrity, brand equity, and overall swagger make it the No. 1 reference choice among male and female trendsetters in small and large cities in the U.S. and abroad.

VIBE Media Group, an affiliate of the Wicks Group of Companies, LLC, is a leading music lifestyle media company that publishes VIBE magazine and produces myriad other VIBE-branded properties including, THE MOST! magazine,, V Sessions, VIBE Yardfest, and VIBE Books, which published The New York Times bestseller Tupac Shakur. VIBE magazine was founded in 1993 by multitalented music mogul Quincy Jones.