At the risk of sounding painfully obvious, the Midwest is a big place, and it would be unreasonable to lump all of its lyricists into one box and expect there to be much common ground. But upon close examination, patterns do emerge. The emotional rawness of Detroit demigod Eminem is mirrored in the emo-stylings of indie heartthrob Atmosphere, and the skilled, everyman persona of Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco can easily be traced to the terse honesty demonstrated by Chi-Town legend Common. Throughout, there seems not only an attention to skill among the Midwest emcees, but also a willingness to mingle vulnerability and introspection with the usual hip-hop masculine bombast. Even hardened Cleveland street ambassadors Bone Thugz-n-Harmony convey a sensitive side. Their classic track "Crossroad" is mournful and elegiac, and ranks amongst the best hip-hop tracks ever released.