10 Music Renegades of 2016 - Rolling Stone
Home Music Music Lists

10 Music Renegades of 2016

Beyoncé, Rihanna, Kanye West, more of the year’s artists who defied expectations

Artist Renegades of 2016 Kanye Beyonce Rihanna

Beyoncé, Rihanna and Kanye West are some of 2016's musical renegades.

Paras Griffin/BET/Getty, Theo Wargo/MTV1617/Getty, Scott Dudelson/Getty

For these 10 artists, breaking free of expectations is a way of life – they've blazed their own trails while transcending constraints, perceptions and the word "should." Here's 10 bright stars who spent the year pushing boundaries.


Jabari Jacobs


This Minneapolis-based bundle of energy – who also hosts MTV's music-first show Wonderland – has been rapping since she was in middle school and her time in Detroit and Houston has inspired her singular take on soul, which incorporates gospel's call-and-response and Southern rap's chilled-out vibes, not to mention the theoretical frameworks (and flute playing) she picked up as a music major in college. Her major-label debut Coconut Oil is packed with what have come to be known as "Lizzobangers," songs that could only come from her highly specific vision of the world and her unflinching belief that she can help change it for the better through song.  

Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.