Written by Ibrahim Abdullahi

Every year, there is a group of artists that find stardom in the music industry by making an appearance on Billboard charts. Here are five standout rappers that we welcomed to the charts in 2019 and some of the stories behind their music.

The first artist is Quando Rondo hailing from Savannah, Georgia. Born as Tyquian Terrel Bowman, Quando Rondo would find fame rapping about his everyday experiences from his neighborhood to everyday life. Growing up, Bowman tried his best to stay away from drugs and crime, even though his mom was a drug addict and his dad was in prison. Unfortunately, he was caught up in the system and did some time as a juvenile. Bowman always knew that he could sing and rap and realized his potential after being released from a juvenile detention center in October 2017. Ever since his release, Quando Rondo has unveiled songs like “I Remember” featuring Lil Baby which helped propel him into the industry, eventually landing him a deal with Atlantic Records. Shortly after signing, he released two mixtapes titled Life B4 Fame and Life After Fame, which touched on his lifestyle before and after he signed to a label. It’s not typical for an artist to release back to back mixtapes, so that was one thing that made Quando stand out. Songs like “ABG,” “Bacc To The Basics,” “Kiccin’ Sh*t,” and “3 Options” featuring Boosie BadAzz, would help build a fan base that loved every song he released. Recently, Quando dropped another mixtape in May 2019 titled From The Neighborhood To The Stage with hit songs like “Imperfect Flower,” “New Ones,” “Where I’m From,” and more. Shortly after he released the mixtape, he announced that he would be dropping another mixtape titled Qpac soon. Quando Rondo has built himself up by not giving up and pushing towards success.

NoCap is an artist that many people don’t know about. Born Kobe Vidal Crawford in Mobile Alabama, NoCap found fame in rapping about the “gangster” lifestyle that he was born into. NoCap first found fame after he released a single, “Legend” in 2018. Later that year, he was featured on “Dreams 2 Reality” with Atlanta rapper, Lil Baby. Whenever he raps, he occasionally drops the names of the people who have influenced him the most. His biggest hit this year that took him to the next level was “Ghetto Angels” which was on his mixtape The Backend Child. The song, “Ghetto Angels,” is for those who have lost anybody that was very close to them or meant something to them. He dedicated the song to his close friends who were brutally murdered following the success of his rap career. For NoCap, it seems like his career is just about to take off even more. Currently, he is in jail for being involved in a shooting. NoCap turned himself in to avoid any speculations that he was involved in the shooting. There is no set date for his release, yet.

Polo G is a young artist who made a hit song that would quickly get him noticed shortly after his release from a juvenile detention center. Hailing from the musically talented streets of the southside of Chicago, Taurus Tremani Bartlett, better known by his stage name Polo G, quickly found fame after releasing his hit single “Finer Things.” Before the single, he released songs like “Welcome Back” and “Neva Cared” earlier in 2018 that helped him build a fan base. Born and raised in the gritty southside streets of Chicago, Polo G always had to be on alert and careful of his surroundings. Before he started rapping, Polo G was wrapped up in the wrong crowd. Before being arrested back to back six different times, some would say he was lost for a while. It wasn’t until he found his passion for music that he decided he was not going to ever go back to a juvenile detention center, jail, or prison. “Pop Out” featuring Lil Tjay, who is also another big artist that is new this year, was another song to hit the charts for Polo G. With this latest collaboration, he inked a deal with Columbia Records. Later, he went on to release his debut album Die A Legend featuring songs like “Dying Breed,” “Through Da Storm,” “Deep Wounds,” and “Last Strike.” Polo G has since released singles and has yet to say when he plans to drop his next album/mixtape.

Megan Thee Stallion is a female rapper born and raised in Houston Texas as Megan Pete, also known as “the hot girl,” a term she coined on her own. Growing up, her Mom was also a rapper who went by the name Holly-wood. Being introduced to music at a very early age helped Megan see that maybe one day she could do the same thing. Megan has been rapping since she was 16, but her Mother asked her to wait until she turned 21 to pursue a career in rapping. Behind the scenes, Megan kept on writing music. Since then, her music quietly got her noticed by local Houston labels. She had hit songs like “Pull Up Late,” “Like A Stallion,” and one of her most famous songs titled “Last Week In HTx,” which has over 4 million views on YouTube. It wasn’t until a couple of years into rapping that she would sign to 1501 Certified Ent. She took off even more after she released her EP Tina Snow in 2018. Shortly after finding success, Megan would then go on to sign with 300 Entertainment making her the record label’s first female rapper. 

Lil Tjay aka the Prince of New York is an artist that has been on the rise since 2018. Overlooked by most listeners, Lil Tjay or Tione Jayden Merritt, gained traction through hit songs like “GOAT,” “Brothers” and eventually with his hit Billboard song, “Pop Out” featuring Polo G. Lil Tjay had it hard growing up in the South Bronx, losing his close friend to gun violence and doing some time in the juvenile detention. Later in life, he decided to turn everything around and focus more on the music and less on the irrelevant things going on around him. Lil Tjay eventually signed a deal with Columbia Records and has since focused on releasing his first album True 2 Myself. The future looks good for Lil Tjay, as he is young and very talented with a unique vibe to him.