2019 was the year of breakouts. Drake and Kendrick were no longer dominating the charts and instead we had acts like Lil Baby, Megan The Stallion, and Blueface finding success with their fresh perspectives, styles, and sounds. And while we did hear from superstars like J.Cole, it was alongside show-stealers like Earthgang, Guapdad 4000, and Ari Lennox on Revenge Of The Dreamers III.
It was a year full of new faces, but four standout acts might have slipped under your radar: Lil Tjay, Polo G, Calboy, and 24kGoldn. These artists each explored trap music in their own distinctive ways, pairing fresh melodies and bars with detailed stories of their often turbulent personal lives. They represent their respective cities but all have the same end goal in mind—to perfect their craft. And while they might seem like sleeper picks, the buzz they’re generating means they’re bound to become playlist staples in the new decade.