If a picture is worth a thousand words, then how much more for an animated GIF?

The Graphics Interchange Format is more than just an assemblage of moving pixels twerking in your computer browser. It's a moment in time, reduced to its visual essentials and looped over and over until it starts to mean something else.

With the right GIF, all your thoughts and feelings on a particular topic can be conveyed with a single link. It all comes down to capturing the right moment. And luckily the world of music—hip-hop in particular—provides plenty of raw visual material to work with. So let's look back at some of 2011’s most remarkable (and bookmarkable).

Written by Alvin "Aqua" Blanco (@Aqua174)