Best MC

Corey Bapes

Corey Bapes' In a Class of My Own proves the 18-year-old rap phenom is ready for MTV fame. Granted, he had some help: The disc was produced by the Kickdrums, Cleveland's premier production duo. But while the whistling tracks are so clean they glimmer, Bapes is the star of his own party, dropping choruses you'll hear once and never forget: "I'ma grind till I shine/Ball till I fall," he rhymes in "I'm a Dog." "So fuck all my haters/I ain't worried 'bout y'all." But Bapes' fans are worried -- about when they'll get to see him live again. This summer, when a show at Peabody's sold out, a frustrated crowd rushed the door. Suddenly, Bapes' shows are the one hip-hop event worth showing up at before midnight, to reserve a spot within spitting distance of Cleveland's top MC.

Previously in Best of Cleveland