California-based producer and high school student Jai Beats has recently had hits with Rod Wave and Young Thug. Genius talked to him about his beginnings. He started producing at probably 13, using Instagram to connect with people - "I would hit up producers, artists, engineers, they were the ones who could really get my beats and loops to these artists". His first break was "a PnB Rock placement. I had a whole thing where someone scammed me out of my melody. I made a post about it, people in the industry were sharing it, and I gained a lot of exposure just from getting my loop stolen which was funny". He's 16 now - "a lot of it is really hard to balance trying to get music done and get my homework done on time. It’s a battle". Jai Beats' goal in the next five years - to be a millionaire.

Rod Wave has reached the top of the Billboard 200 chart with his new album 'SoulFly', which opens with 130,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending April 1, Billboard reports. It's his first No.1, while the album also notches the biggest week for an R&B/hip-hop album in 2021 in terms of units earned. SEA units of 'SoulFLy' comprise 126,000 (equaling 189 million on-demand streams), album sales comprise 4,000 and TEA units comprise less than 1,000.

Chica / NLE Choppa / Mulatto

XXL magazine revealed their Freshman Class list for this year with 12 rappers to watch: "NLE Choppa calls home to Memphis while Polo G and Calboy represent Chicago. Lil Tjay and Fivio Foreign hold it down for New York. Baby Keem rests his head in Las Vegas. Jack Harlow is a proud Louisville, Ky. native. Rod Wave hails from the bottom of the map in St. Petersburg, Fla. Down South gets love from Chika in Montgomery, Ala., and both Mulatto and Lil Keed are hot in the streets of Atlanta. San Francisco rapper 24kGoldn earned the most fan votes to land the title of the Freshman 10th spot winner".