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Top 10 Rappers of the New School

VO: Matt Campbell
Script written by QV Hough Spitting flames, and kicking out the lames. Join as we count down our picks for the top 10 rappers of the new school. For this list, we're focusing on the rappers that have been killing the rap game and have released their most important work after 2009. We will also not be limiting it to solo artists, but including rap groups as well. Special thanks to our user MegaRyan for suggesting this idea on our Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Top 10 Rappers of the New School

Spitting flames, and kicking out the lames. Welcome to and today we'll be counting down our picks for the top 10 rappers of the new school

For this list, we’re focusing on the rappers that have been killing the rap game and have released their most important work after 2009. We will also not be limiting it to solo artists,so we're also including rap groups as well.

#10: Odd Future

This group has more members than the Wu-Tang Clan, and their punk rock style made them a breath of fresh air in the west coast hip-hop game. Formed by Tyler The Creator aka DJ Stank Daddy, Odd Future has released only one official studio album, but have made a name for themselves through their numerous mixtapes, as well as their off-the-wall personalities. Although the group has recently split up, it’s the members’ solo albums that solidify their place on our list, including Earl Sweatshirt’s Doris, and Tyler, the Creator’s Goblin. Odd Future forever.

#9: Chance the Rapper

Born and raised in the South Side of Chi-town, this lyricist has roots in soul and jazz and a father that worked for President Barack Obama. While attending the windy city’s esteemed Jones College Prep High School, Chancelor Bennett became Chance the Rapper and released two well-received mixtapes in 2012 and 2013. His beats are unique, and he most certainly can flow, and by November of 2014 Chicago’s mayor handed over an award for “Outstanding Youth of the Year.” Chance the Rapper is still extremely new to the game, but he’s wise beyond his years.

#8: Schoolboy Q

As a founding member of “Black Hippy” with Ab-Soul, Jay Rock and Kendrick Lamar, this South Central musician turned his life around thanks to the power of hip-hop. Inspired by the style of Jay-Z and the business acumen of Puff Daddy, Schoolboy Q has absorbed a little bit from everybody to establish his own definitive flow. His first two albums caused a stir in the hip-hop community, and by the time of his major label debut in 2014, he was performing on late night talk shows while slowly climbing up the charts.

#7: Run the Jewels

Composed of established rappers El-P and Killer Mike, this duo released their debut collaboration for free, reminding MCs that’s it’s all about the music. After all, both musicians have been around for years with Killer Mike known for his collaborations with Outkast, and El-P being an underground legend in the Big Apple. And with the latter boasting a Sci-Fi style, he’s the perfect complement to Killer Mike’s hard-hitting rhymes. With their most recent effort Run the Jewels 2 becoming Pitchfork’s 2014 album of the year, and Run the Jewels 3 rumored to be on it’s way in 2016, this duo has introduced hip hop to a whole new demographic of listeners.

#6: Joey Bada$$

In 2010, a 15-year old Brooklyn student uploaded a video to YouTube, and shortly after his music career was underway. With a remarkable flow and raw talent, Joey Badass lit up the Internet with six mixtapes in a two-year span and collaborated with the top names of independent hip-hop. And on his 20th birthday in 2015, he released his debut album, which established Mr. Bada$$ as a premiere talent in the music industry. He’s got a couple dollar signs on his name, and he might have to add a couple more if he keeps slayin’ the competition.

#5: J. Cole

This rapper’s success came after an encounter with a hip hop legend. After waiting outside Jay-Z’s studio for 3 hours with a killer beat for HOVA to use, with no success. However his dedication would pay off, however, as each of J. Cole’s first three studio albums have reached #1 on the billboard charts. With a choppy style reminiscent of Nas and Tupac, he crafts stories for a new generation and is one of the most respected popular artists in the biz. J. Cole’s been at it for years and it ain’t hard to tell that he’s currently at the top of his game.

#4: A$AP Rocky

Yeah, yeah, he’s hooked up with the likes of Iggy Azalea, Rita Ora and Chanel Iman, but he’s best known for his tandem of #1 albums. A$AP Rocky was born as Rakim Mayers – an ode to the legendary New York City MC – and rose to fame alongside his mentor and business partner, the late ASAP Yams. Armed with an incredible amount of charisma and dope lyrical skills, Rocky managed to land a role in the 2015 film “Dope”. This guy will knock your socks off and send a bill for his time. Oh, and don’t forget about the rest of A$AP Mob too.

#3: Danny Brown

You can take the MC out of Detroit, but you can’t take the Detroit out of this Dr. Seuss-inspired rapper. And we’re not kidding, as Danny Brown’s fitted jeans once led to a business FAIL with 50 Cent’s G-Unit records. Yes, he stays true to his roots and found a mentor in Ali Shaheed from A Tribe Called Quest. With a unique delivery and gonzo rhymes, Danny Brown has found a niche in the market, and his 2011 effort was named the #1 hip-hop album of the year by SPIN magazine. What’s next? Well, this cat is working on a children’s book for his daughter.

#2: Drake

Most guys want to be him, and most girls want to get with him. But while Drizzy undoubtedly has that classic MC swag, he’s equally capable of dropping a verse or two that will make you scream. While seemingly everything Drizzy touches turns to gold, but he started from the bottom with a mixtape way back in 2006. He claims he has woes, but really this 6 man has no reason to be sad, as he is currently one of the biggest things in music, not just rap. And yes, we know what woes means.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Freddie Gibbs

Big K.R.I.T.

Travis Scott

Action Bronson

Childish Gambino


#1: Kendrick Lamar

With each passing year, this Compton-born artist raises his game and has managed to stay true to himself while elevating his craft and the people around him. Kendrick Lamar’s 2011 debut immediately cemented his place in the upper echelon of new school rappers, and his two follow-ups are seen as some of the most important releases of the decade so far. There’s no doubt that Kendrick has quickly become the face of new school rap, all while throwing it back the legends that shaped the genre.

So, do you agree with our selections? Who is your favorite rapper of the new school? For more mind-blowing Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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