Second place: Black Liquid
Third place: Evan Barlow
This is the fourth year running that the Photosynthesizers walk away with top votes in the hip-hop category. Anyone who's seen this band perform understands why it's known for its soul-rock approach to hip-hop. Its members use organic instruments to accompany industrial components such as turntables, drum machines and synthesizers, stirring up a show that's one great big party. It's never clear who's having the better time, the band or the crowd. A longtime fixture on the hip-hop scene, Black Liquid — who's been known to sit in with indie band Canary, Oh, Canary — comes in second. The young Evan Barlow, who takes his cues from artists as wide-ranging as Elvis and Timbaland, also connects with voters.