The nominees for the 2020 BET Hip Hop Awards have been announced, and there’s a lot to talk around the category of “Best New Hip Hop Artist” — especially considering the fact that DaBaby is the hottest rapper on the planet right now. While each category looks to be difficult to predict, consider this year’s grouping for Best New Hip Hop Artist which includes names like Flo Milli, Jack Harlow, Mulatto, NLE Choppa, Pop Smoke, and Rod Wave, fans are hard-pressed to stick their necks out to name a winner. Each lyricist is fresh on the scene and has a clear, measurable impact on the next generation of Hip Hop’s fans, showcasing that this group is stacked with talent.
These names should not only ring bells in your head but make you wanna dance. Just in case you’ve been under a rock for the last year or simply a few generations apart from the current “Drill” and “Trap” that is on the radio now, and don’t know who some of these people are — BET.com has you covered.
To assist you in navigating which of these new stars will take home one of the show’s most valuable trophies, here’s a brief introduction to our nominees for BET’s top newbie of the year.
Tamia Monique Carter, 18, has made 2020 her official breakout year. In 2019, she went viral with her “Beef FloMix” and followed up with her Ho, Why Is You Here? debut earlier this year. Now, she’s poised to become a household name thanks to her cheery energy, charismatic flows, and unstoppable disposition.
The “What’s Poppin” rapper, Jackman Thomas Harlow, has made that phrase his own with his hit song, and remix, introducing him to the music industry. After spending a few years releasing songs that got him out of Louisville, KT, the 22-year-old has entered into a new, Billboard-charting era.
She won the Lifetime reality series, The Rap Game, years ago and now at 21-years-old, Alyssa Michelle Stephens has reinvented herself as a sexually dominant, poisonous emcee eager to take the throne. Most recently collaborating with Gucci Mane for “Muwop,” Mulatto is a newcomer that is eager to become a veteran.
Memphis, Tennessee’s own Bryson Lashun Potts is one of the most energetic new artists out — just watch one of his videos where he practically makes up a new dance for each song. The 17-year-old rapper’s debut album, Top Shotta, came out in August 2020 and featured his animated hit songs, “Camelot” and “Walk ‘Em Down.” They offer a glimpse into the ball of energy that is NLE Choppa.
Pop Smoke was the face of drill rap in New York. Born Bashar Barakah Jackson, the 20 year old burst onto the scene with his 2019 smash hit, “Welcome to the Party.” After he made a splash, a tidal wave of his star power followed with songs like “Christopher Walking” and “Dior.” Before his untimely death earlier this year, he was the spearhead of a massive new drill movement. Meet The Woo 2 was his final project, finished posthumously. It hinted at the rapper being a legend in the making.
You can hear pain in Rod Wave’s beautiful singing voice — one that seems at odds with his only 22 years of age. Rodarius Marcell Green went viral last year on YouTube and TikTok with his “Heart on Ice” single that peaked at No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100. He’s released two albums so far in his burgeoning career carving out a unique space for himself early on. Now, everyone knows what a Rod Wave song sounds like.
Check out our Best New Hip Hop Artist nominees Pandora playlist for a sample of some of today’s hottest new music. Don't forget to watch the 2020 Hip Hop Awards on BET on October 27 at 9/10c.
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