Beards, of course, will never fully go out of style for musicians — but the long, fruitful, on-and-off relationship between the two entities seems to be very much on these days. For the likes of both effete folk-rockers and swagged-out rap stars, and a whole bunch of dudes in between, the beard has become a cherished, effective tool. To make sense of this newly crowded musical beard landscape, Vulture consulted two experts: Stalley, the New York–by-way-of-Ohio rapper freshly signed to Rick Ross’s label, and Andy Hull, the front man of Manchester Orchestra, the Georgia rock band that will be dropping its third studio album, Simple Math, on May 10. When our bearded arbiters got together for the beard symposium, they pulled no (bearded) punches in their clear-eyed analysis. That means: Feelings were hurt. Painful truths were exposed. Beards were rated.