The best new musical artists of 2019 are all pushing boundaries as popular music becomes less genre focused. New artists are forging new identities, rather than occupying the convenient marketing categories of the past.
Following Stormzy's run up the charts, 2019 proved to be a banner year for British hip-hop with a trio of masterpieces. America's myriad hip-hop scenes delivered the goods, and African rap gave us many stellar releases.
As we head into a brief summer publication break to enjoy the summer sun for a few days, it's the perfect time to take stock of the year in music so far. PopMatters returns to our normal publishing schedule on Monday, 8 July.