2011 has been one hell of a year for Hip Hop.

Eminem and Royce Da 5’9 surprised us with a collaborative album, and we are a month away from Jay-Z and Kanye West following suit. Mobb Deep’s Prodigy stayed in headlines like it was the ’90s again, and launched a resurgence of emcee book deals. Independent Hip Hop titans like Tech N9ne and Atmosphere crushed the charts without mainstream media support, and Tyler, the Creator and Big Sean are providing new answers to the question of what do listeners want?

HipHopDX decided to celebrate the midpoint of the year with Halftime: Five Trends In 2011 Hip Hop. Each day, our editorial staff will highlight a trend specific to this year, and deliver a close look at what’s going on, and just what it means to the culture, sound and industry of Hip Hop.

We hope you enjoy, and continue to make 2011 the best year it can be.