21 Rappers To Feel Excited About Right Now

Shining stars of hip-hop, present and future.

June 27, 2016

Who: Daughter of Oakland, stays in L.A. Has bars and melodies, cares equally about partying and self love. Queen of the hyphy hoochies. Protege of YG.

Start with: “I’m On,” “Why You Always Hatin”

Nadia Rose

Who: From South London to the world. Savage punchlines, double buns. Signed to Sony/Relentless in the U.K.

Start with: “#DFWT,” “Station”


Who: “Deranged joy” out of Chicago. Larger-than-life, with a precise fixation on fellatio. You know I fuck with the gays.

Start with: “Like a Snapback,” “Distraction”


Who: In 2014, Chicago mixtape scene’s bar-for-bar best. Now, signed to Interscope and dropping a versatile debut album, in collaboration with T-Pain, BLOOD, and Terrace Martin. Got a Gucci feature in his first month out.

Start with: “Body,” “Chiraq (Remix)”

Cardi B

Who: America’s single funniest person, has a mixtape for fun and it’s still better than yours. Bronx born, quote machine. Star of LHHNY Season 6. Never gets cold.

Start with: “Foreva”


Who: Perico Princess, raised in Boston. Candy hooks, floating verses. Discovered on YouTube by Fam-Lay, signed to Pharrell. Owner of Trillitary Entertainment.

Start with: “Gucci Comin Home,” “Around The World”

Little Simz

Who: Serious, straightforward introvert out of North London. A favorite of Kendrick Lamar, an echo of Lauryn Hill. Allergic to major labels. 10 independent releases under her belt.

Start with: “Intervention,” “Interlude”


Who: Born in London, based in Atlanta, raised by the internet. Bedroom songwriter, talks and sings unselfconsciously. Beats sound like lip gloss. Member of the Awful Records family. Set to release an EP, PRINCESS, via True Panther in July.

Start with: “CRYBABY,” “Fruit”


Who: Open mind, grateful pen. Warm, unhurried production. Chance The Rapper’s Chicago family.

Start with: “Freedom Interlude”

Tomasa Del Real

Who: Experimental reggaetonera from Iquique, Chile. Tattoo artist. Que flama.

Start with: “Tu Senora” “Hangover”

Kari Faux

Who: Rap game Daria, bossy and flossy. Little Rock, sometimes lost en Los Angeles.

Start with: “No Small Talk”/“Gahdam”

Young M.A.

Who: Once, vicious freestyles, flames mixtape. Next, the album, all originals. Rapping since age 9. Self-described AG. Kings County.

Start with: “OOOUUUU”

Remy Ma

Who: Raised by the Bronx, blew up with Terror Squad. Sat down for six years, and stood by Papoose for all of them. Brainy and relentless. All the way up, but still eager enough that she ranks along with people who are starting new.

Start with: “All The Way Up (Remix)”

Tommy Genesis

Who: Raspy drawl, on the nose timing. Former gallerist, performance poet. Awful Records. Vancouver, CA.

Start with: “They Cum They Go”

Ms Banks

Who: South London. Wicked freestyle, authority flow. Dropping a movie in July.

Start with: “The Come Up”

Vintage Lee

Who: Optimistic headwear aficionado. Wants to inspire the “inner player” of her listeners. A friend to the Boston guys who came before her, like Cousin Stizz and Michael Christmas.

Start with: “Hennythings Possible”


Who: Mysterious show-stealer. Presumably somewhere in Georgia, sitting on serious Eardrummers heat.

Start with: "That Got Damn"


Who: Out of Chicago high school with a killer deadpan. Partner to Adamn Killa. Kiddie trap and ominous love songs.

Start with: “Kill Dat Shit,” “Know U Betta”


Who: Brooklyn-based contemporary boom bap, beats from both coasts. Pulls up in a Hyundai. Makes the work stretch.

Start with: “Pilates”


Who: Sprightly and sour. Often paired with Bermondsey collaborator, Cassive. EP just dropped.

Start with: "Steady"

Nicki Minaj

Who: Curry, with rings like LeBron. A guiding light for her sons, today and always.

Listen to a playlist of songs from these rappers to watch, via Apple Music: