2019 has been a record year for rap’s new generation who has seen a number of its members staking their claim over the charts. But it would be arguable — at the very least — to reason that any other artist has had a bigger year than country-trap phenom Lil Nas X and Houston sensation Megan Thee Stallion, who both just notched another milestone into their record years of success.
TIME magazine released its inaugural Next 100 2019 list on Wednesday (Nov. 13), and the country trapper and Hot Girl were the only two rap artists to be featured among the final shortlist of the 100 influential rising stars highlighted in the special issue’s first edition.
The publication underscored how Lil Nas and Megan, who created her own watershed moment with her trademarked-signature Hot Girl Summer catchphrase, have both carved out their own respective lanes that has fast-tracked them to the front of hip-hop’s newest generation.
“I told Nas he was going to be a light in this world and he would shine brighter than anyone else. And he has. He’s brought everyone together, from all musical genres and generations,” country icon and “Old Town Road” collaborator Billy Ray Cyrus penned as a toast to the Atlanta native’s historical year.
You can read TIME’s 100 2019 list of finalists here.
(Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images and Gary Miller/Getty Images)