The nominees for the NAACP’s 40th annual Image Awards have been announced today with several rappers, including Common, Mos Def and Kanye West, garning nods.

With categories ranging from film to music to literature, hip-hop was heavily represented his year. Variety reports that Com and will.i.am are both competing in the male artist music category while Kanye’s 808s & Heartbreak is up for best album. In addition Ye’s collaboration with UK singer Estelle is up for honors for their song “American Boy.”

In the motion picture category Brooklyn rapper Mos Def has been nominated for his supporting role as Chuck Berry in Caddillac Records. Diddy has gained a nod for his acting in the TV version of A Raisin in the Sun, while Queen Latifah has been recognized for her work in The Secret Life of Bees.

Popular HBO show “The Wire” is up for Best Drama Series while BET’s “American Gangster” series has been listed among the top News/Information Specials. Wyclef and Venus Williams’ episode of IFC’s “Iconoclast” has been named as one of the four best Talk Series. The 5th season of “Run’s House” is going up against “Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is” for Best Reality series. “The BET Awards ’08,” Chris Rock’s latest standup comedy special, “Kill The Messenger,” and “Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam” are all competing for Best Variety Series or Special. Also among the nominees is Aaron McGruder and Rodney Barnes for their writing on the controversial animated show “The Boondocks.”

Honors will be handed out on February 12 at 8 p.m. live on Fox. For a full list of nominees peep the NAACP Image Awards’ website. – Elan Mancini