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Your Cheat Sheet for Telling All the SoundCloud Rappers Apart

Let this be your guide. Photo-Illustration: Maya Robinson/Vulture and Photos by Getty Images

For those over the age of 25, or perhaps just a little out of the loop, you could be forgiven for lumping the past year’s wave of “SoundCloud rappers” into one very colorful pile of teenagers from Florida who don’t care about Tupac. But given the increasing influence this young and powerful new group of musicians has both on the charts and hip-hop culture at the moment, it’s probably worth your time to learn a thing or two. To prime you for breakout star Lil Xan’s debut album this week, we’ve compiled a quick cheat sheet to help differentiate between the ever-changing hairstyles, face tattoos, and unpronounceable names of the newest SoundCloud generation.

The Lils

Lil Xan (a.k.a. Diego)

Age: 21
Hometown: Redlands, California.
Recognizable Face Tattoos: Lil Xan has tattoos on each of his cheeks — “ZZZ” and now “Lover” on the right side, and “candy,” a heart, and “soldier” on his left. He also has the word “Xanarchy” above his left eyebrow, and his birth year, 1996, on his left temple.
Hair Color (right now): Brown and pink.
Drug of Choice: Xanax, originally, hence the name “Lil Xan.” Last year, though, he swore off the drug, and following fellow SoundCloud rapper Lil Peep’s fatal drug overdose in November, became a vocal supporter of what he calls the “anti-Xanax movement.”
That One Song You Might Know: “Betrayed,” a take on Xanax addiction.
Worst Controversy (so far): Lil Xan caught some heat recently for calling Tupac Shakur’s music “boring,” and giving it a 2 out of 10 rating. Following that interview’s release, Xan became the target of an onslaught of angry tweets, think pieces, and even an angry mob of Tupac fans at a Del Taco in Redlands. He quickly tried to rewrite the narrative: At a live show on March 23, he performed “California Love,” and later told the crowd, “The media twisted my words, I think Tupac is a legend.”

Lil Pump

Age: 17
Hometown: Miami, Florida.
Most Recognizable Face Tattoos: A rocket under his right eye, and two stars next to his left.
Hair Color (right now): According to his Instagram, his dreadlocks are now a purplish color, with some hints of peroxide blonde.
Drug of Choice: Like Lil Xan, Lil Pump used to be a lover of Xanax as well as lean (codeine cough syrup) and other prescription painkillers. In January, though, he said he had given up Xanax, and now says he is “drug free.”
That One Song You Might Know: “Gucci Gang,” which reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Worst Controversy (so far): In February, Pump was arrested for firing a handgun outside the door of his house in California. He was released from juvenile court the next day with an ankle monitor.

Lil Skies

Age: 19
Hometown: Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.
Most Recognizable Face Tattoos: A rose on his left cheek with the word “faith” underneath, the word “life” and a love heart above his left eyebrow, a musical note above his nose, an anchor below his right eye, and the word “destiny” on the right side of his jaw, and the words “cold heart” in Japanese under his left eye.
Hair Color (right now): An orangey, pinkish hue.
Drug of Choice: Marijuana.
That One Song You Might Know: The melancholy “Red Roses” and “Nowadays.”
Worst Controversy (so far): Lil Skies has managed to stay relatively drama-free so far, though he did cancel the rest of his “Dark Rose” tour last week citing “unforeseen health issues.”

Lil Wop

Age: 24
Hometown: Chicago, but he is now based in Atlanta.
Most Recognizable Face Tattoos: A sword over his right eye, an ice-cream cone on his right cheek (in honor of his hero, Gucci Mane), stitches over his left eye and a broken heart underneath it, bats going down his left cheek.
Hair Color (right now): Brown/black.
Drug of Choice: Indica marijuana. (“If you a sativa bitch, I hate you,” he said in an interview last year.)
That One Song You Might Know: The zombie-like “Lost My Mind,” which features the aspirational refrain “Growing up I wanna be like Gucci.” (Shortly after its release, Wop actually signed to Gucci Mane’s 1017 Eskimos label.)
Worst Controversy (so far): Though Lil Wop’s lyrics are often unsavory, and sometimes bordering on terrifying (they don’t call it “horrorcore” for nothing), Lil Wop hasn’t encountered any publicized legal trouble or backlash just yet.

Honorable mentions go to some of the “Lil” SoundCloud pioneers who have now gone mainstream: Lil Yachty and Lil Uzi Vert, as well as the late Lil Peep.

The Creative Spellers

6IX9INE (a.k.a. Tekashi69)

Age: 21
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York.
Most Recognizable Face Tattoos: Lots, but the number 69 on the right side of his forehead, along with the words “six nine” written twice on the left side, are more than enough to identify him.
Drug of Choice: Cocaine, Xanax, weed. In an interview with Mass Appeal last year, though, he downplayed his drug use. “Me and the drugs don’t get along like that,” he said. “I don’t need to pop 25 fucking xans or drink a pint of lean to be like ‘damn, I feel like myself.’’’
Hair Color (right now): A rainbow melange.
That One Song You Might Know: “Gummo,” which reached No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Worst Controversy (so far): In 2015, 6ix9ine pled guilty to felony charges of “use of a child for a sexual performance,” for an incident involving a 13 year old. Before this, he also served jail time as a minor for assault and selling heroin. Most recently, 6ix9ine has become involved in public fights with The Game and YG over his claimed gang affiliation with the bloods — which both YG and The Game have questioned — and refusal to “check in” with gang members when he traveled to L.A.

XXXTentacion

Age: 20
Hometown: Pompano Beach and Lauderhill, Florida.
Most Recognizable Face Tattoos: A tree in the middle of his forehead, “bad vibes” on his eyelids, “numb” in red underneath his left eye, “alone” above his right eyebrow, and a broken heart on his right cheek.
Hair Color (right now): Blue, black.
Drug of Choice: Prescription painkillers, marijuana, lean.
That One Song You Might Know: “Look at Me,” “Sad,” “Changes.”
Worst Controversy (so far): XXXtentacion has been accused of several violent crimes. The most recent and most shocking of these involves the alleged kidnapping and aggravated battery of his then-pregnant girlfriend.

Trippie Redd

Age: 18
Hometown: Canton, Ohio.
Most Recognizable Face Tattoos: A red number “14” between his eyebrows, “Love Scars” under his left eye, “Oomp’s Revenge” on his right cheek.
Hair Color (right now): Red!
Drug of Choice: Marijuana.
That One Song You Might Know: “Love Scars,” “Poles1469” with 6ix9ine, and “Dark Knight Dummo” with Travis Scott.
Worst Controversy (so far): Trippie Redd has gotten into a couple of public disputes with other SoundCloud Rappers over the last year. In April 2017, he distanced himself from past collaborator 6ix9ine, tweeting, “I’m sorry brozay, 1400 don’t promote pedophiles…” Then in October, after working with Drake on a song, Trippie Redd began fighting with XXXtentacion, who has had issues with Drake over his song “KMT” (which X claims uses his “Look at Me” flow). In March, XXXtentacion declared that Trippie Redd was “banned” from Florida.

Juice WRLD

Age: 19
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois.
Most Recognizable Face Tattoos: None yet.
Hair Color (right now): Bleached blonde/brown.
Drug of Choice: Originally Xanax, though he says he has now given it up.
That One Song You Might Know: The emo-influenced “All Girls Are the Same,” and “Lucid Dreams.”
Worst Controversy (so far): Juice Wrld seems to have avoided public controversy so far. He did, however, sign a widely publicized deal with Interscope in March reported to be worth over $3 million.

Smokepurpp

Age: 20
Hometown: Miami, Florida.
Most Recognizable Face Tattoos: A star under his left eye.
Hair Color (right now): Black/brown.
Drug of Choice: Weed and lean.
That One Song You Might Know: “Audi,” “123” with Murda Beatz, and “Do Not Disturb” with Murda Beatz, Offset, and Lil Yachty.
Worst Controversy (so far): Smokepurpp’s Instagram is filled with pictures of him holding guns of varying sizes and types.

BlocBoy JB

Age: 21
Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee.
Most Recognizable Face Tattoos: None yet.
Hair Color (right now): Black/brown.
Drug of Choice: Marijuana.
That One Song You Might Know: “Look Alive” with Drake, which made it to No. 5 on the Hot 100.
Worst Controversy (so far): Blocboy made local news in Memphis last October after he posted a video on Facebook, which appeared to show him gambling at a Memphis high school during school hours.

Tay-K

Age: 17
Hometown: Arlington, Texas.
Most Recognizable Face Tattoos: None yet.
Drug of Choice: Tay-K has been in jail since last year, so hopefully none.
Hair Color (right now): Black/brown.
That One Song You Might Know: “The Race,” “Murder She Wrote.”
Worst Controversy (so far): Tay-K is currently awaiting trial for capital murder and aggravated robbery charges.

An honorable mention goes to Bhad Bhabie, f.k.a. the “Cash Me Outside Girl.”

The Ys

YBN Nahmir

Age: 18
Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama.
Most Recognizable Face Tattoos: None, but he does have braces.
Hair Color (right now): Black/brown.
Drug of Choice: Marijuana.
That One Song You Might Know: The West Coast–tinged “Rubbin Off the Paint.”
Worst Controversy (so far): He often features guns in his videos and Instagram posts, which he says his parents hate.

YBN Almighty Jay

Age: 18
Hometown: Houston, Texas.
Most Recognizable Face Tattoos: Like his fellow YBN member (YBN stands for Young Boss Nigga, by the way), Almighty Jay is currently face-tattoo free.
Hair Color (right now): Black/brown.
Drug of Choice: Marijuana. “I don’t sip lean. That shit’s not cool. Shit’s wack,” he said in an interview in March.
That One Song You Might Know: “Chopsticks,” “No Hook” with YBN Nahmir.
Worst Controversy (so far): YBN Almighty Jay is currently dating Blac Chyna, who is 11 years his senior, an age gap that has attracted plenty of blog scrutiny (and jokes). But, hey, if Leo can still date 20-year-olds at 43, they can enjoy their young love in peace.

Yung Bans

Age: 18
Hometown: Union City, Georgia.
Most Recognizable Face Tattoos: “Cash Rules” on the left side of his forehead, “YB” on the right side.
Hair Color (right now): Peroxide blonde.
Drug of Choice: Hopefully none right now because he is currently on house arrest.
That One Song You Might Know: “4tspoon” with Playboi Carti, “Lonely” with Lil Skies.
Worst Controversy (so far): Yung Banz is currently facing murder and burglary charges, and has been on house arrest for over two years.

Yung Pinch

Age: 20
Hometown: Huntington Beach, California.
Most Recognizable Face Tattoos: None yet.
Hair Color (right now): Yung Pinch’s long, flowing locks are currently a natural light-brown color.
Drug of Choice: Weed, bro. That Cali kush.
That One Song You Might Know: The melodic “When I Was Yung,” “Rock With Us,” and “Look Like.”
Worst Controversy (so far): None yet. He’s just a laid-back dude, man.

Honorable mentions go to the now practically geriatric YFN Lucci (who, at 27, is dating Lil Wayne’s 19-year-old daughter) and Sweden’s Yung Lean, who hopped on the SoundCloud wave early.

The (Almost) Full Sentences

Ski Mask the Slump God

Age: 21
Hometown: Broward County, Florida.
Most Recognizable Face Tattoos: Lips on his right cheek, “very rare” below his right eye, “777” on the left side of his nose, and “Revenge” on his left cheek.
Hair Color (right now): Black/brown.
Drug of Choice: Xanax, marijuana, alcohol
That One Song You Might Know: “Catch Me Outside,” “BabyWipe,” and the highly distorted “Take a Step Back” with XXXtentacion.
Worst Controversy (so far): Before his career took off, Ski Mask spent a period of time in juvenile detention, where he met XXXtentacion. The two became close friends and frequent collaborators, although they had a falling out on social media last year. He has also had an ongoing beef with the rapper Rob $tone, which resulted in a physical fight at a show last April.

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie

Age: 22
Hometown: Bronx, New York.
Most Recognizable Face Tattoos: None yet.
Hair Color (right now): Black/brown.
Drug of Choice: Marijuana.
That One Song You Might Know: “Drowning” with Kodak Black, “Keke” with 6ix9ine and Fetty Wap.
Worst Controversy (so far): At the Rolling Loud festival last year in Mountain View, California, Lil B claimed that A Boogie and his crew jumped him and stole his equipment, though the two rappers later reconciled on Twitter.

YoungBoy Never Broke Again (a.k.a. NBA YoungBoy)

Age: 18
Hometown: Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Most Recognizable Face Tattoos: None, but he has two noticeable scars on his forehead.
Hair Color (right now): Black/brown.
Drug of Choice: Lean, weed.
That One Song You Might Know: “Outside Today,” “No Smoke,” “Untouchable.”
Worst Controversy (so far): In November 2016, YoungBoy was arrested and charged with two counts of attempted murder for shooting at a group of people in a Baton Rouge street; he served about nine months in jail. In August 2017, he received a ten-year suspended sentence for his involvement in a separate drive-by shooting in 2016. This February, he was arrested again on charges of aggravated assault and kidnapping related to a domestic-violence incident with his then girlfriend. A few days after his arrest, a video leaked online showing surveillance footage of YoungBoy assaulting the woman in question.

An honorable mention goes to Rich The Kid, who signed Famous Dex and YBN Almighty Jay to his Rich Forever Music label.

The Adjectives

Famous Dex

Age: 24
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois.
Most Recognizable Face Tattoos: Two pictures of kiss-marks/lips on his right cheek, “Diana” on his left cheek bone, “Baby Dex” on his right cheekbone, breast cancer awareness ribbon on his left cheek.
Hair Color (right now): Currently black/brown, but his dreadlocks were purple for a long time.
Drug of Choice: Lean.
That One Song You Might Know: “Pick It Up” with A$AP Rocky.
Worst Controversy (so far): In September of 2016, a video surfaced online appearing to show Dex beating up his girlfriend.

Rico Nasty

Age: 20
Hometown: Washington, D.C. area.
Most Recognizable Face Tattoos: None.
Hair Color (right now): Who knows? Rico Nasty often wears her hair in spikes with her natural color, but she also has a collection of different colored wigs.
Drug of Choice: In an interview last year, Rico Nasty said she was expelled from school for smoking weed.
That One Song You Might Know: “iCarly,” “Hey Arnold,” “Poppin” (not to be confused with Asian Doll’s song of the same name).
Worst Controversy (so far): Rico Nasty has an ongoing feud with fellow rapper Asian Doll. After trading insults online, the beef got physical early this year, when the two got into a fistfight.

Asian Doll

Age: 20
Hometown: Dallas, Texas.
Most Recognizable Face Tattoos: None yet, but she often wears sparkles under her eyes.
Hair Color (right now): Pink and purple.
Drug of Choice: According to her songs, Xanax and marijuana.
That One Song You Might Know: “Poppin” featuring PnB Rock.
Worst Controversy (so far): Asian Doll has beef with several other rappers, including Cuban Doll and Rico Nasty.

Ugly God

Age: 21
Hometown: Based in Houston, Texas.
Most Recognizable Face Tattoos: None yet.
Hair Color (right now): Black/brown.
Drug of Choice: None – he’s sober.
That One Song You Might Know: “Water,” “I Beat My Meat,” “Bernie Sanders.”
Worst Controversy (so far): Ugly God said his Instagram account was deleted earlier this year after he made a post arguing that the Earth might be flat. “The Earth is supposedly round, but we’re not allowed to visit the two poles of the Earth (the ONLY thing that will prove/disprove this),” he wrote in the post. He also has a hilarious meme account, though, so the jury’s out on whether he was joking.

How to Tell All the SoundCloud Rappers Apart