First Annual XXL Awards Winners

Breakout Artist of the Year Readers’ Choice



Macklemore is an expert independent artist who knows how to play the game. Thanks to a growing, fervent fanbase, rigorous touring, digital smarts and plain old quality music, the Seattle native enjoyed a skyrocket to hip-hop fame and fortune in 2012. The 29-year-old, along with his producer, Ryan Lewis, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in October 2012, when their debut studio album, The Heist, moved an impressive 78,000 units in the first week.

The 2012 XXL Freshman capped his groundbreaking year with another milestone, when the single “Thrift Shop,” which has more than 50 million views on YouTube, reached platinum status. During the course of the year, the MC went from relative unknown to being respected within the hip-hop community.

Nominees: French Montana, Macklemore, Kendrick Lamar, Future, Lecrae

Recommended for You

Around the Web

Best of XXL

  • BR

    #Dope As Fuck This Is Epic! I Love It Everything Is Accurate. I Was Hoping T-Minus Would Get Producer Of The Year But Mike Will Deserves It Too. This Is Great Guys Keep Up The Good Work. Exellent!

  • Brandon Siebenaler

    Macklemore should def not have gotten new artist

    • NTK

      I’m thinkin’ the same thing but the dude just went triple-platinum off Thrift Shop and The Heist has bars. So I can’t hate, good job XXL!

    • karlon burkett

      In my opinion, Kendrick Lamar or Lecrae should’ve won.

      • Jonathan Rile

        Kendrick is not a breakout artist anymore…

        • karlon burkett

          He’s definitely not, but he was nominated for the award for some reason.

  • Garcus Marvey

    “Push ya afro back to ’76, muhfucka.”

  • PG

    idk how drake won the best guest verse on a hip hop record over andre 3000 or ghostface killah. plus why the verse of andre 3k on sixteen ft rick ross isnt nominated?? he straight up killed it!! smh

  • Landry Choupo


  • Jake

    Mercy best single? Nah.

  • abstrakt

    Hit-Boy should’ve gotten best producer “Goldie” “Clique” “1-Train” “Theraflu” “I Wish You Would” “Backseat Freestyle” and kendrick should’ve been best breakout artist but other than that I guess I can live with the rest

    • sincerelycourt

      so true

  • Jay

    Really Justin Bieber has he’s own award category?

  • bigL

    why the f*** did nas not win anything???First was Grammys now here.

  • Danny

    Kendrick debuted at Number 2 not Number 1

  • Danny

    Best Rapper/Producer Tandem should have gone to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

  • Anthony

    P.O.S should win every award because he smokes all these fools.

  • ricky

    drake got guest verse on a hip hop record?? word? -__- did you guys not hear commons response to that guest verse ???

  • Keanu Kees

    Macklemore definitely deserved Breakout Artist of the Year. Glad to see Mack & Ryan both were nominees on the Tandem as well, personally, I think they should’ve won it because Ryan is now a huge part of Macklemore’s music. XXL did good on this though, no complaints. You guys definitely have to give Macklemore credit on the Breakout Artist though.

  • Ronald Jack

    NAS album should be album of the year or a lifetime achievement award. Him making a classic like Life is Good this late in his career is special.

  • jango boy

    xxl is trash

  • Mike.S.Chromey

    It’s Still Two Chainz Bitch , now what the fuck is up!?

  • jon

    is nas ever gonna get respect?