Here at Pop Hunter, we’ve got the Summer Olympics on the brain. It’s creeping into every aspect of our lives. We’re timing our trips up and down the stairs at our apartments, whipping frisbees at each other’s heads like it’s a discus, and breaking our necks on the local jungle gym, trying to perfect our amateur uneven-bars routine. It’s clearly affecting every aspect of our daily routine, so why shouldn’t this rejuvenated Olympic spirit make its way into our musical listening as well?

We’re proud to bring you the Pop Hunter Hip-Hop Decathlon. A ten-event rap battle royale, seeing fifty rappers from ten different crews face-off head-to-head. Who will win the Pole Vault Swagger competition? Does anyone stand a chance at beating Lil’ B in the High Jump Originality contest? Read and find out!


The Teams:

G.O.O.D. Music
Kanye West (Captain)
Big Sean
Pusha T
2 Chainz
Kid Cudi

YMCMB
Lil Wayne (Captain)
Drake
Nicki Minaj
Tyga
Gudda Gudda

Maybach Music Group
Rick Ross (Captain)
Meek Mill
Stalley
Wale
Omarion

Odd Future
Tyler, The Creator (Captain)
Earl Sweatshirt
Hodgy Beats
Taco
Domo Genesis

1017 Brick Squad
Gucci Mane (Captain)
Waka Flocka Flame
OJ da Juiceman
Frenchie
Wooh da Kid

Taylor Gang
Wiz Khalifa (Captain)
Chevy Woods
Juicy J
Mac Miller*
Neako

Roc Nation
Jay-Z (Captain)
J. Cole
Jay Electronica
Casey Veggies
Ester Dean

Bad Boy Entertainment
Diddy (Captain)
Mase
Machine Gun Kelly
French Montana
Red Cafe

Aftermath Entertainment
Dr. Dre (Captain)
Eminem
50 Cent
Kendrick Lamar
Yelawolf

Hipster-Approved All-Stars
Lil’ B (Captain)
A$AP Rocky
Azealia Banks
El-P
Danny Brown


The Events:

400 Metres Flow
Record Holder: Nas

Results:
Gold: Kendrick Lamar
Silver: Pusha T
Bronze: Azealia Banks

Azealia Banks surprised everyone in this event, finishing a strong third with a flow that’s diverse beyond her years. Veteran syllable juggler Pusha T approached his personal best this year with “Exodus 23:1,” but it was no match for Kendrick Lamar’s off-the-wall rhyming acrobatics. Nas, watch out — he’s coming for your record next year.

1500 Metres Lyrics
Record Holder: Lupe Fiasco

Results:
Gold: Kendrick Lamar
Silver: Earl Sweatshirt
Bronze: J. Cole

So far, no one can touch Kendrick Lamar at this year’s Hip-Hop Decathlon. He started off strong in the Flow competition, but we all know that the storyteller Kendrick’s specialty is lyrical endurance. As strong as “Cartoon & Cereal” is, this wasn’t a runaway victory for Lamar — Odd Future youngster Earl Sweatshirt showed that being sequestered in Samoa didn’t slow him down one bit. J. Cole rounds out the field with a disappointing bronze medal finish. He’s going to have to answer to his perfectionist of a manager coach, Jay-Z.

Pole Vault Swagger
Record Holder: Snoop Dogg

Results:
Gold: A$AP Rocky
Silver: Lil Wayne
Bronze: Rick Ross

Coming into the competition, everyone thought Wiz Khalifa was the destined heir to Snoop’s swagger throne. A strong bond with The Doggfather didn’t help Wiz this time around, as he failed to place in the Swagger competition. Harlem-born A$AP Rocky blew everyone away with LiveLoveA$AP in 2011, and this year he set the swag bar so high that even veteran trillionaires Lil Wayne and Rick Ross couldn’t handle the swagitude.

Long Jump Cultural Influence
Record Holder: 2Pac

Results:
Gold: Jay-Z / Kanye West
Silver: Eminem
Bronze: Lil Wayne

This year, Kanye West announced that he “jumped over the Jumpman” with his “New God Flow,” so the pressure was on for him to win the Long Jump Cultural Influence competition in this year’s Hip-Hop Decathlon. With a little help from his thronemate’s clout, the two easily shared the prize, with fellow rapper geezers Eminem and Lil Wayne left clinging to their relevance like a kitten on a “Hang In There Baby!” poster.

Shot Put Trademark Adlib
Record Holder: Lil Jon

Results:
Gold: Waka Flocka Flame
Silver: 2 Chainz
Bronze: Rick Ross

It’s a fiercely competitive year for adlibs, especially in the G.O.O.D. Music camp. Kanye’s “HEHN” was thought to be a contender, but perhaps too annoying to medal. Big Sean’s “Boi, boi, boi” is catchy, but it lacks ferocity. 2 Chainz represented for his team, but his nasal yell was no match for the king of the adlib, Waka Flocka Flame. Waka could release an album full of exclusively adlibs, and it would still be a hit (let’s be honest — he pretty much did). Rozay looked strong early on in the race, but his trademark grunt is so overused this season, he actually pulled a throat muscle near the finish line and had to settle for bronze. Better luck next year.

100 Metres Hurdles Versatility
Record Holder: LL Cool J

Results:
Gold: Drake
Silver: Kendrick Lamar
Bronze: Wale

Kendrick was looking for a threepeat in the Versatility competition, but October’s Very Own managed to block Lamar from the golden hat-trick. There’s no one more malleable in the hip-hop world than Drizzy Drake. One minute he’s rapping, the next he’s singing. One minute he’s depressed about sleeping with four girls in one week, and the next he’s slapping a butt like it’s a basketball. Yes, Drake has many sweaters hats, but he wears every single one of them well. It’s nice to see Wale earn a medal in this event. The versatility showcased on the underrated Maybach Music rapper’s Ambition is a testament to his creative vision.

100 Metres Melodic Ability
Record Holder: Krayzie Bone

Results:
Gold: Drake
Silver: Kid Cudi
Bronze: Wiz Khalifa

Another gold for the softest rapper in the game! This one was no contest. Drake is often chastized for singing too much on his records, and he recently claimed to be the first person to effectively rap and sing. If that was true, he’d probably have the World Record, right? Right.

Discus Throw Production Ability
Record Holder: Kanye West

Results:
Gold: Kanye West
Silver: El-P
Bronze: Tyler, The Creator

Get it? “DISC-us Throw”? With some artists, their producing skills are so good that it makes us forgive them when their rapping is terrible. There’s no better example of this than Kanye West. Since he’s one of the best hip-hop producers of our time, it’s easier to forgive lyrics like this: “Don’t try to treat me like I ain’t famous / My apologies, are you into astrology / Cause I’m, I’m tryin to make it to Uranus” (Jadakiss – “Gettin’ It In” feat. Kanye West). Kanye was the heavy favourite coming into this competition, considering he’s trying to preserve his world record. Yeezy’s producing-arm is in fine form, with Watch The Throne not too far behind him and G.O.O.D. Music’s Cruel Summer around the bend. El-P and Tyler, The Creator were worthy challengers, with their individual lo-fi and quirky production styles, but given that you’ve heard “Mercy” in every single DJ set you’ve been to this summer, you know Kanye’s got this award on lock.

Javelin Throw Punchlines
Record Holder: The Notorious B.I.G.

Results:
Gold: Meek Mill
Silver: Lil Wayne
Bronze: Danny Brown

Meek Mill’s relentless, heated delivery combines with his clever knack for wordplay to make him one of the most unstoppable rising forces in hip-hop today. His punchlines can be controversial (“I’m so fucking raw, niggas hoping that I catch AIDS!”), but that’s what makes him a fierce competitor — he holds nothing back.

High Jump Originality
Record Holder: André 3000

Results:
Gold: Lil’ B
Silver: Danny Brown
Bronze: Jay Electronica

In the originality competition, all eyes were on Lil’ B. Danny Brown has his trademark toothless smile and eclectic rhymes, and Jay Electronica is a rapping/producing enigma, but no one can touch the prolific Based God in terms of originality. In Based God We Trust.


Overall Results:

Team Competition:

Hipster-Approved All-Stars (WIN GOLD)
Gold: 2
Silver: 2
Bronze: 2
Total: 6

G.O.O.D. Music (WIN SILVER)
Gold: 2
Silver: 3
Bronze: 0
Total: 5

Aftermath Entertainment (WIN BRONZE)
Gold: 2
Silver: 2
Bronze: 0
Total: 4

YMCMB (4TH PLACE)
Gold: 2
Silver: 1
Bronze: 1
Total: 4

Maybach Music Group (5TH PLACE)
Gold: 1
Silver: 0
Bronze: 3
Total: 4

Roc Nation (6TH PLACE)
Gold: 1
Silver: 0
Bronze: 2
Total: 3

1017 Brick Squad (7TH PLACE)
Gold: 1
Silver: 0
Bronze: 0
Total: 1

Odd Future (8TH PLACE)
Gold: 0
Silver: 1
Bronze: 1
Total: 2

Taylor Gang (9TH PLACE)
Gold: 0
Silver: 0
Bronze: 1
Total: 1

Bad Boy Entertainment (DEAD LAST)
Gold: 0
Silver: 0
Bronze: 0
Total: 0

Individual Competition (Multi-Medalists):

Kendrick Lamar (WINS GOLD)
Gold: 2
Silver: 1
Bronze: 0
Total: 3

Drake (TIED SILVER)
Gold: 2
Silver: 0
Bronze: 0
Total: 2

Kanye West (TIED SILVER)
Gold: 2
Silver: 0
Bronze: 0
Total: 2

Danny Brown (TIED FOR BRONZE)
Gold: 0
Silver: 1
Bronze: 1
Total: 2

Lil Wayne (TIED FOR BRONZE)
Gold: 0
Silver: 1
Bronze: 1
Total: 2

Rick Ross (4TH PLACE)
Gold: 0
Silver: 0
Bronze: 2
Total: 2

Thanks for checking out our coverage of the Hip-Hop Decathlon. Congratulations to all the winners, and see you in four years!

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