People are always asking why we’ve never put on the XXL Awards. Our competitors have held their award shows through the years, but XXL is usually pretty laid back and low-key, so we never really entertained the idea of doing our own.

Things felt different at the end of last year, though. We knew we weren’t ready to host a big event, but we wanted to give out some trophies and honor those who did it big in hip-hop in 2012. And we needed to include the public in the selection of the winners so we had heads vote for the five biggest categories online.  All other trophy-grabbers were picked by the XXL staff, as were all the nominees.

We'll even have acceptance speeches from some of the winners when they receive their trophies so stay tuned to XXL on Twitter for updates.

Without further ado, the winners of the first-ever XXL Awards…