Rap has long been a genre of music—perhaps more than any other—driven by the youth. Nowadays, as songs are rising the charts based off their exposure in Vine videos and fans across the world are finding new music via their Twitter feeds, it's clear that more than ever that young people are the trendsetters in hip-hop. While older, more established stars continue to make waves, it's rappers in their 20’s who are starting new trends and expanding the genre.
This list attempts to examine the best of the best, the rappers making waves in the industry and capitalizing on their talent. This is NOT a list of hottest rappers—if it were, Iggy Azalea and her two Billboard smashes would have made it. And this is not a ranking of pure technical skill—if it were, the list would be drastically different but miss what we're trying to reflect: technical skill isn't what makes every rapper worth listening to (just ask Young Thug). This list is about the 20 rappers have been making the best music (albums, songs, guest spots) for the last 12 to 18 months. Recent history, mic skills, and popularity do factor in, but what it comes down to is the actual impact of the songs you're putting out.
Of course, the age limit means that a lot of great artists who were on last year's list are now too old for this year's list (Future, Kid Cudi, Childish Gambino, Macklemore, Action Bronson are all now in their 30s). Plus, with a laundry list of talented 20-somethings to pick from, it was impossible to give credit to everyone. The 20 who made the list have impressed with their skills, their fan bases, and, most importantly, their music. Here are The 20 Best Rappers in Their 20’s (Right Now).