Age: 27
Last Year's Rank: 13

Through Telefone and Room 25, and a handful of stellar features, Noname has proven herself to be one of the most compelling storytellers in rap today. With Telefone, she unraveled the intricacies of her life, and the tales she spun were webs of painstaking intimacy. With Room 25, she's transitioned from writing bars that refract off of glowing beats like light to burying her observations on life deep in the soils of darker production. She sounds more contemplative, more aware—but she's forever hopeful and unafraid to talk that real shit. In a crowd of rappers who regurgitate the same topics and styles as the MC standing to their left, Noname is helping lay the foundation for original and purposeful hip-hop to present itself to the masses again. —Kiana Fitzgerald