Age: 24
Last Year’s Rank: N/A

Young Thug’s school for extraterrestrial crooners has become increasingly strict in its acceptance, but graduation rate is clocking in at close to 100%. Near the very top of the class is Lil Baby, who used his Thug-indebted flow and Jeffrey’s co-sign to launch his career into the stratosphere. There was 2018’s Drip Harder, with partner-in-crime Gunna, but in 2019, Baby doesn’t need a co-sign. The just-released “Woah” finds Baby treading similar territory as he’s always explored, but the way he delivers these lines confidently, yet slightly off-beat, suggests a development in the rapper’s style. His innate knack for melody is what got him to rap’s upper echelon in the first place, but now, Lil Baby seems to be emerging as a multi-dimensional talent. It’s easy to become swallowed by the success of those around you, and there have long been whispers that Gunna represents the stronger half of their collaborative LP. But Baby’s persistence and constant improvement has him emerging as his own entity—outside of Atlanta, Thug, Gunna, and anyone else. —Will Schube