#5: J. Cole
No album out? No problem. There's a reason young Jermaine Cole caught the ear of Jay-Z, who inked the Fayetteville, N.C. rapper to a deal with his Roc Nation imprint last year. And that reason is very simple: He can rhyme his ass off. If you need proof, look no further than the Friday Night Lights mixtape he put out late last year that had the Internet goin' nuts thanks to a collaboration alongside fellow under-30 MC Drake and a slew of songs that sounded like they'd be right at home on Cole's debut. But do us a favor and stay tuned—the best is still yet to come for Young Simba.