Since its birth in New York in the early 1970s, Hip Hop culture has been a source of some of the best American music.
The music is still thriving and growing, and 2020s rappers are giving us plenty of great new music.
Here are the best hip-hop rappers of the 2020s so far.
1. Lil Uzi Vert
Since their debut song in 2016, Lil Uzi Vert has been a mainstream name in American rap and hip hop.
Lil Uzi’s given name is Symere Woods, and they go by they/them pronouns. They were born and raised in Philadelphia and began rapping in the tenth grade.
They changed their stage name from Sealab Vertical to Lil Uzi Vert after being told that their rap style is as fast as a machine gun.
Their 2020 album “Eternal Atake” had guest appearances from some of the best rappers of the 2020s, making the tracks widely successful.
Lil Uzi has released several singles since Eternal Atake came out, and his album “Pink Tape” is set to be released at an undetermined date.
Drake, born Aubrey Drake Graham, is a Canadian rapper who has strong notes of R&B in his songs.
Drake’s roots are in acting, and he began his career as a character on “Degrassi” in the early 2000s. His first mixtape in 2006 flopped, but he turned his career around and has been a staple in rap and hip hop ever since.
Drake continues to be relevant in the 2020s rap scene. He collaborated with up-and-coming hip-hop artists, had his third song debut on the Billboard Hot 100 at number one in 2020, and released another studio album in 2021.
3. Lil Baby
Lil Baby was born in Georgia in 1994 and rose to fame in 2017 after the release of “Perfect Timing.” The artist produces hip hop, trap, and southern hip hop.
His 2020 album “My Turn” had 12 songs that made it to the Billboard Hot 100 chart and featured appearances from some of the biggest names in 2020s rap.
In 2021, Lil Baby performed at the Grammys, released a collaborative album with Lil Durk, and won best hip hop artist of the year at the BET Hip Hop Awards.
4. Polo G
Polo G instantly shot to fame in 2019 with his first studio album “Die a Legend.” His popularity has only gone up since. In 2020, Polo G released his second album, “The Goat,” which had ten songs hit the Hot 100s list.
Polo G started his own record label in 2020 called Only Dreamers Achieve. In 2021, he released a third album, “Hall of Fame.”
While he has yet to win many awards, Polo G’s constant production of quality music entitles him to a place amongst the best 2020s hip hop rappers.
Eminem, also known as Slim Shady or his birth name Marshall Mathers, has been an influential part of the rap scene since the late 1990s.
Despite over 20 years in the business, Eminem shows no sign of losing steam or quality when it comes to his music.
In 2020, he released his eleventh album, “Music To Be Murdered By,” which features guest appearances by famous singers of every genre. It instantly shot to first in the Billboard 200 list, just like his last nine albums.
Eminem performed at the Academy Awards and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony in 2021. The following year, he performed at the Superbowl half-time show along with several other famous artists. Eminem starts the decade strong, cementing his place as one of the biggest rappers of all time.
6. Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar is an influential hip-hop rapper who has been successful as a solo artist and a member of Black Hippy.
Lamar has received countless awards since the release of his first album in 2011, including 14 Grammys and being listed as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2016.
While Lamar took a break from the limelight for several years, he jumped back into the scene with his 2022 album “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.” His newest album has been widely well-received, demonstrating that he’s one of the best 2020s rappers.
7. J. Cole
Cole is a German-American rapper who grew up in North Carolina.
He began practicing very young. Armed with a notebook full of self-written lyrics and a synthetic drum machine, J. Cole spent his teenage years perfecting his artistry.
His breakthrough into the music industry happened in 2009, and he continued to release high-quality music ever since.
His 2021 album “The Off Season” made it to number one on the US Billboard 200 and was nominated for the Best Rap Album at the Grammy Awards that year. While the album didn’t win at the Grammys or the BET Hip Hop Awards, it did win the Hip Hop Album of the Year from the iHeart Radio Music Awards.
8. Megan Thee Stallion
Megan Pete, also known as Megan Thee Stallion, is a Texas native who gained popularity by rapping on social media.
She released several singles before her first studio album, “Good News,” came out in 2020.
Despite her relatively short career, Megan has been wildly successful. She has been on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Saturday Night Live. She also has five BET Hip Hop Awards, three Grammys, and won Best New Artist.
9. Doja Cat
Doja Cat’s given name is Amala Dlamini. She began her career as a teenager releasing music on SoundCloud.
Dlamini’s work tends to be extremely popular on platforms such as TikTok. She is very internet savvy and is a humorous and fun presence, but that’s not to say that her music isn’t meaningful.
Since her underground beginnings in 2012, Dlamini has made blatant and satirical comments on the state of society. Her collaborative piece “Best Friend” with Saweetie talks about toxic masculinity and the role of feminism today.
Her 2021 album “Planet Her” is about freedom of expression of self.
10. Young Thug
Young Thug was born in Georgia as Jeffery Williams. He began rapping in 2010 and has been a big part of the hip-hop scene ever since he became widely popular in 2014.
Through the late 2010s, Young Thug featured in many popular artists’ songs, including Arianna Grande and Pharrell Williams.
In 2020, he released a collaborative album with Chris Brown called “Slime & B.” In 2021, he released his own album “Punk.”
He received a nomination for three Grammy Awards between 2020 and 2022, but he hasn’t won any since his 2019 Song of the Year win.
With talent like his, it’s only a matter of time before the next wave of awards rolls in!
11. Jack Harlow
Jack Harlow is a rapper and hip-hop artist from Kentucky. Harlow began his career in 2015, but he only gained mainstream popularity in 2020 with his song “What’s Poppin.”
With his single’s success on TikTok, he was able to release his first studio album, “That’s What They All Say,” and he received nominations for three Grammys in 2021 and 2022.
While he hasn’t won a Grammy yet, his songs “What’s Poppin” and “Industry Baby” won the Billboard Music Awards Top Rap Song for 2021 and 2022, respectively.
Harlow is set to try his hand at acting next and will play a role in White Men Can’t Jump.
12. Lil Nas X
Born as Montero Hill, Lil Nas X blends country, rap, and hip hop into his repertoire in ways that appeal to all.
He rose to popularity in 2019, and since then, he released his first studio album “Montero” in 2021.
Lil Nas X took a break for two years but recently announced that he would release a second studio album in 2022.
He won five Billboard Music Awards, two Grammy Awards, and two BET Hip Hop awards in his career so far.
In addition to his musical success, Lil Nas X wrote a children’s book called “C is for Country,” and he voiced June Bug in “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder.”
Gunna was born in Georgia in 1993 as Sergio Kitchens. The artist rose to popularity after signing on to Young Thug’s record label.
Gunna’s first studio album came out in 2019, and he has been busy producing music ever since. In 2020 he released his next album, “Wunna,” and his third album, “DS4Ever,” came out in 2022.
Gunna is very involved with philanthropy as well as with music. He focuses primarily on the hunger crisis in America. Gunna and Goodr teamed up in 2022 to open a place for free groceries at his old high school.
14. Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj’s birth name is Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty, and she was born in Trinidad and Tobago.
While Minaj began her career in 2004, she became popular in 2010 after she released singles from her album “Pink Friday.”
Minaj has had a varied career in addition to her success as a rapper and hip-hop artist. So far in the 2020s, she was a judge for RuPaul’s Drag Race, collaborated with some of the other top hip hop artists, became a mom, and rereleased her mixtape “Beam Me Up Scotty.”
Minaj plans to release her fifth studio album soon, and she has already released several singles from the upcoming album.
Bia, born Bianca Landrau, is an American rapper from Massachusetts.
Bia began her career on the show Sisterhood of Hip Hop in 2014. She released several singles, many of them widely popular and with great collaborations with other artists, but she didn’t work well with her first label.
In 2020, armed with a new label, Bia released her album “For Certain.” She won Artist of the Year and Hip Hop Artist of the Year at the 2020 Boston Music Awards.
Additionally, she received a nomination for the BET Hip Hop Awards Song of the Year and Best Collaboration in 2021. As of 2022, Bia has been working on a new album with more R&B vibes.
16. Coi Leray
Coi Leray is an American rapper born in 1997 in Massachusetts and raised in New Jersey.
She started her career by posting music to SoundCloud, and her first mixtape came out in 2018. 1801 Records immediately signed her for a record deal, and she released a second mixtape.
Leray released her first studio album in 2022, which reached number 89 on US charts.
In 2022, Leray collaborated with Nicki Minaj to create the song “Blick Blick,” which made it to number 37 on the Billboard Hot 100s.
17. Pusha T
Pusha T was born in New York City in 1977 but grew up in Virginia. His given name is Terrance Thorton, and he received his first record contract in 1997 alongside his brother.
Pusha T went on to have a successful solo career after he and his brother split up in 2010.
He has had a career that led him to work with plenty of other famous rappers and artists, and he continues to produce influential music in the 2020s.
In 2022, Pusha T released his fourth album, “It’s Almost Dry,” which contained his song “Diet Coke.”
While he hasn’t received a ton of prestigious awards, his music continues to top charts and be enjoyed by millions.
18. Fivio Foreign
Fivio Foreign’s given name is Maxie Ryles. He signed a million-dollar contract with Colombia Records in 2019, ensuring his success throughout the 2020s.
His 2022 album “B. IBLE” was produced by Kanye West and was well received. The album featured several other famous hip-hop artists.
In addition to making the charts in the US, Fivio Foreign’s songs also made it to the UK, Canadian, and Dutch top spots.
19. Lil Durk
Lil Durk was born as Durk Banks in 1992 in Chicago. The poverty of living on the south side of the city had a strong impact on how Lil Durk grew up and what values he shares in his music.
Durk’s career began in 2011, and his music is still going strong today. In 2020, Lil Durk released his fifth studio album, “Just Cuz Y’all Wanted 2,” and in 2022, he released another album titled “7220.”
He was nominated for three Grammy Awards in the 2020s for his collaborations with Drake and on Kanye West’s album.
Tyga’s birth name is Michael Stevenson. He’s from California, and his Vietnamese mother and Jamaican father raised him.
Tyga began his career in 2007 when he released an independent album called “No Introduction.”
Tyga mostly collaborated with other artists in 2020, but his 2019 album “Legendary” is still important to 2020s hip hop.
In addition to his collaborations, Tyga has entered the culinary industry and was on “The Masked Singer” in 2022.
Future was born Nayvadius Dumun Wilburn in 1983 in Georgia, where he spent his childhood.
Future began releasing mixed tapes in 2010, and by 2011 he was signed up with a major label company.
In the 2020s, Future has released two albums. The first album, “High Off Life,” came out in 2020 and had Travis Scott as a guest appearance. The second album of the 2020s, “I Never Liked You,” made it to the top of the Billboard 200 charts.
22. Kay Flock
Kay Flock, known by his birth name Kevin Perez, didn’t begin his rap career until 2020.
He was born and raised in the Bronx in New York City, and he has rappers in his family on his dad’s side.
Flock has released various singles and a mixtape called “The DOA Tape,” but he has yet to release a studio album. Despite this, Flock’s music is well-liked, and his career is just beginning.
Kay Flock has a ton of potential, and with a talent like his, his career is sure to continue to flourish throughout the rest of the 2020s.
23. Tyler the Creator
Tyler Okonama, known by his stage name Tyler the Creator, is a Californian native with a Nigerian heritage.
Tyler taught himself to play the piano as a child, and his interest in music only grew from there. He began his hip-hop career in 2007 but gained popularity and traction in 2011.
Tyler’s fifth studio album, “Igor,” came out in 2019, but it received acclaim in 2020 and topped the US Billboard 200 chart. He released his sixth studio album, “Call Me if You Get Lost,” in 2021.
Famous artists, such as Billie Eilish and Juice Wrld, have said that Tyler influenced their music and careers.
DMX’s birth name was Earl Simmons, but he went by Dark Man X, which he eventually shortened to DMX. DMX was an American rapper and hip-hop artist who began his career in the early 1990s.
DMX lost his battle with addiction in 2021 and passed away, either from an overdose or stress of long-term drug use on his heart.
However, his posthumous album “Exodus” was a tribute to his work and career. Many famous artists and rappers contributed to his works to showcase the best of his life.
25. Travis Scott
Travis Scott was born in 1991 in Texas as Jacques Webster.
He released his first single on Myspace in 2008 and had a hard time getting his foot in the door. Scott tried his hand at the music scene in New York and Las Angeles, but he couldn’t make ends meet and had to return to Texas.
After enough hard work and dedication, Scott was able to make his dreams a reality and could produce mainstream music.
In the 2020s, several major rappers’ songs featured Scott, including Baby Keem and Kanye West. Audiences widely anticipate his upcoming album “Utopia.”
26. Migos (Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff)
Migos is the name of a hip-hop group constant of Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff. The members formed the group in 2008 and found success in 2013.
In 2021, the group released their third studio album called “Culture III” after multiple pandemic-related delays.
Migos won Best Group at the BET Awards in 2017 and 2018.
27. Roddy Ricch
Rodrick Moore, more popularly known as Roddy Ricch, is a Californian native from a Christian family.
Roddy released his first mixtape in 2017 and found success in 2018 with his single “Die Young.”
In 2021, Roddy released his second studio album, “Live Life Fast,” which reached number four on the Billboard 200 chart. In 2020, Roddy won Variety’s Breakthrough Artist of the Year.
28. Baby Keem
Baby Keem is a rapper from Nevada, and he was born Hykeem Carter in 2000.
Baby Keem received recognition in 2019 after he released his song “Orange Soda.” His first album, “The Melodic Blue,” came out in 2021 and made it to number five on the Billboard 200 chart.
He won a Grammy in 2022 for Best Rap Performance with “Family Ties,” and he won Video of the Year at the BETS for the same song.
Saweetie was born in 1993 with the name Diamonté Quiava Valentin Harper. She gained popularity in the hip-hop rap scene in 2018 with several popular singles.
While she has yet to release a studio album, her singles have featured many other artists, and her performances have won several awards.
Saweetie won an award for “Best Friends,” which she created with Doja Cat. She also won the BET Hip Hop Awards Hustler of the Year in 2021.
30. Kanye West (Ye)
Kanye West, now known as Ye, has been an influential member of the hip-hop community since the beginning of his career in the 1990s.
Ye isn’t afraid to change up his musical styles, and he has gained wide popularity from many niche groups due to how broadly his works reach.
Since 2019, Ye’s work has taken on a more Christian tone, and his 2021 album “Donda” reflects this.
Donda was followed by “Donda 2” in 2022, which upheld the same themes and structures as Ye showed in Donda.
31. Post Malone
Post Malone is a New York-born American rapper. His given name is Austin Post, and he blends together hip hop and R&B.
Malone began his career in earnest in 2011 but gained mainstream popularity in 2015.
He collaborated with many artists in 2020, and released a fourth studio album in 2022 called “Twelve Carat Toothache.”
In addition to music, Malone has entered wine production and gaming.
Top 2020s Hip Hop Rappers, Final Thoughts
Hip Hop culture is alive and well in the popular rap music we listen to today. Rappers of the 2020s are producing music for us that is relatable and relevant.
Our list doesn’t cover all the notable 2020s rappers, but it does cover some of the best! If you liked this list, check out our list of sad rap songs.