Gen Z is taking over the game from TikTok to Hollywood to activisim. Here Baller Alert has put together a list of teens to watch as they continue to kill it in their respective industries.
Marsai Martin, 16
Not only is Marsai an incredible actor, known for her role on ABC’s comedy black•ish., but she’s also an executive producer. When she was 13, Marsai became executive producer of the movie Little, which she also starred in, making her the youngest person in Hollywood to ever produce a film and the youngest Black producer.
Lil Tjay, 19
The Bronx-born rapper is known for his hit singles Brothers, F.N., and his latest song Calling My Phone, featuring 6lack. Calling My Phone peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100, and his debut album True 2 Myself was released when he was just 17.
Jalaiah Harmon, 15
Jalaiah rose to fame for creating the viral TikTok dance to Renegade. Though she created the dance, she didn’t get the proper credit after white influencers popularized it, highlighting racial disparities. Once credit was given where credit was due, the Atlanta teen performed at the 2020 NBA All-Star Game and appeared on Ellen DeGeneres’s show.
Natalia Bryant, 18
Natalia Bryant, the eldest daughter of the late Kobe Bryant, has had a rough year since her father and sister Gianna’s passing. But through the hardship and supporting her mother, Vanessa, she has just signed a modeling contract.
Caleb McLaughlin, 19
Caleb is known for his role in Netflix’s Stranger Things – a role for which he garnered a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. He continues to do great and is now starring as Idris Elba’s son in the new Netflix film Concrete Cowboy, out in April.
Storm Reid, 17
Storm Reid made a splash on the scene for her role in Euphoria playing Zendaya’s younger sister. But even before landing the HBO show she was grinding, appearing in 12 Years a Slave and superhero film Slight. Her breakthrough role came in A Wrinkle in Time, which earned her a Teen Choice Award and NAACP Image Award nominations.
Zaya Wade, 13
Zaya is an inspiration to so many young people and a pioneer in the LGBTQ community. As the daughter of NBA star Dwyane Wade, Zaya was brave enough to come out to the world as transgender. She recently spoke with Michelle Obama for the book Becoming for teens.
NLE Choppa, 18
This rapper, singer, and songwriter came on the scene with his single Shotta Flow, which was certified platinum by the RIAA and peaked at number 36 on the Billboard Hot 100. NLE Choppa has been outspoken about mental health, saying in September, “I had bad anxiety and bad depression. That’s like the worst thing you could have. You think too much about the past; you get depression. You think too much about the future; you get anxiety.”
Lil Tecca, 18
Lil Tecca is a rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer. His hit single Ransom put him on the map when it peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100.
Keedron Bryant, 13
Keedron went viral last year when he sang a moving song I Just Wanna Live in a video. His mother wrote the song in response to George Floyd’s killing in May, which sparked the Black Lives Matter protests. His video caught Oprah Winfrey, LeBron James, and Barack Obama’s attention, and he then signed a record deal with Warner Music.