Every year, we assess the output of the best 20-something rappers out, weighing their overall talent against their most recent work, and crown a champion. Hip-hop privileges the energy and creativity of young people, which means that the best rappers in their 20s are often the best rappers out, period. Of course, there are exceptions — Danny Brown, Nicki Minaj, Future, J. Cole, just to name a few. Regardless, this year's list feels more high stakes than usual. A few of the best artists making music today are about to become 30-somethings, including Kendrick Lamar, Drake, ScHoolboy Q and Meek Mill; in 12 months, the playing field will look considerably different. Meanwhile, 2016 has been one of the best years for excellent albums in recent memory, especially for hip-hop, making this ranking even more competitive.

In other words, making this list wasn't easy. Have your arguments handy.