which rappers should you listen to rn? your personal hip hop flow chart

by anna montie

There’s a lot of music out there these days. 

There’s a lot of rap music out there these days.

A lot of people are loving that.

Some are overwhelmed.

If you’re currently at a point musical gridlock, and need some aid picking your jam for the day, week, or year, look no further. 

Alternatively, if you aren’t an avid listener of rap music, let this be a nudge in that direction from yours truly, as a friend








BROCKHAMPTON, A$AP Mob, Flatbush Zombies, Migos, Run The Jewels

Hearing rappers develop individual styles within their overall group motif is an undeniable thrill. There is nothing quite like that sweet, sweet “pass the mic” mentality in a song. These groups are in a classification of their own because of that. Their rhymes are fresh and their performances deliver. They will not break your heart, guaranteed. 



Wu-Tang Clan, N.W.A., Beastie Boys, RUN-D.M.C., Souls of Mischief

The originators. Crews that commendably fed off of each other’s verses and attitudes. Whether kickin’ it amid a slow burning beat or serving up an anger-ridden rhyme on top of some heavy percussive instrumentals, these crews are responsible for paving the way for many rappers to come. Brimming with attitude, they might break your heart. 



Kanye West

This rapper is in a classification all his own, reason being that he is my favorite rapper and I’m flexing that bias here. Also, there’s just a lot going with this one. It takes some sweet patience and understanding to fully appreciate the chaos and artistry that is the life and work of Kanye West. Although as so many know, once you get it, you’re bound for life. 



Anderson .Paak, Cardi B, Tyler, The Creator, Travis $cott, Princess Nokia

These performers came here to party, but that is not to say you shouldn’t take them seriously. They are young, constantly growing in their work, and creating sustainable music for this generation of mainstream. The most commercially appealing class on this roster, in a very positive way. The youth shapers, the future of the genre, the Yung Frontier. 



Outkast, Jay-Z, Da Brat, The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur (2Pac)

These rappers are connotative with the classic sounds of 90s rap, and are most appropriately enjoyed through the rotations of a dated cassette tape, blaring through the low-quality, gummed-up speakers boasted by most boomboxes. Although they bring about a sense of nostalgia, they are all very much still legends in their own right. “Legends”, in this case being a preposterous understatement.



Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Noname, Childish Gambino, Kid Cudi

These are the musicians that keep this genre afloat amongst its harshest critics. With constant one hit wonders and filler tracks emerging and clogging up the mainstream, the Redeemers are the poets, activists, and artists that create real, indisputable moments in music. To some, they are the saving grace of a musical generation that can sometimes feel otherwise dispensable. Find them on their thrones.

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