Hip-hop is probably the only genre where a sixteen-year-old unknown could guest-produce a legend's much-awaited record. Canadian wunderkind Wondagurl - aka Ebony Oshunrinde - has done just that, nabbing a coveted credit on Hova's Magna Carta Holy Grail (on 'Crown', which you can hear below). But it's not just her that's received valuable advice from a seasoned pro.

Hip-hop and rap in general are fertile breeding grounds for fresh talent, and very frequently the vets (or even just big names) are keen to lend a hand. There's a lot of major players to thank for the current influx of exceptional, young talent.

In some cases, the mentor/mentee relationship can be tracked through generations. Take Nicki Minaj. The eccentric Trinidadian pop-rapper was helped into the industry by Lil Wayne, who helped mould and incubate the fledging star. In turn, Weezy was trained by Birdman back in New Orleans in a relationship that the pair describe as father-son. It's perhaps one of the most well-documented cases of prominent figures giving younger blood a chance, and arguably the most commercially successful example too.

Maybe the reason that the established names are so willing to help new faces is because of the construction of hip-hop as a genre. It's more familial; there are cliques and clusters and crews and collectives in abundance. Think of it like politics. Think of Jay (in fact mentored himself by Jaz-O) and Kanye as the Milibands, vying for total control and acclaim, with Rita Ora, J. Cole, Jay Electronica, Kid Cudi completing the shadow cabinet. You've got all these different parties, headed by a huge, outspoken talent (and/or loudmouth). There's a breadth of fame levels inside the cadre - ranging from chart-toppers to relative unknowns - and they're all keenly aware that in order to keep the group going, they're going to need people to replace those that move on or retire. Equally, in order to be dominant, they need as many able bodies as they can muster.

With the amount of connections therefore being created, it's even easier for new members to get a foot in the door. In a way, the whole thing is like a big internship. All the hopeful candidates do their own footwork before being taken under the wing of someone like Dre, proving they have the raw talent that can be moulded. They have to demonstrate that they can stand above the middling millions and deliver a stellar performance - they need to be the total package: persona, flow and lyrics.

Hip-hop gives these youngbloods the opportunity; aside from Paul Weller or Johnny Marr telling NME they like a certain band, indie hopefuls don't really get the assistance from those already in the game. Dave Grohl's a lovely chap 'n' all, but how often do you see him mentoring the little guys? You can appreciate that they may not have the time, but it's representative of the way the genre boundaries work.

Genres like hip-hop are exponentially more collaborative - everyone works with everyone (unless there's beef); just look at 2 Chainz and Flo Rida, who've guested on pretty much every Top 40 track since 2005. Perhaps it's because rap tends to feature a lot of solo artists (Wu-Tang Clan, N.W.A. and OFWGKTA are the only 'bands' that spring to mind), who are freer to pursue individual ventures. Other than the occasional session on an LP, rock bands don't collaborate often (QOTSA's Like Clockwork betrays that claim), and it might be because by definition a rock band already has musicians collaborating with each other. Rappers have to seek other likeminded rappers to share notes, whereas, say Everything Everything, are already developing ideas with similar people.

It could be a sheer marketing gimmick that they choose the young 'uns. Acts that already have clout deliver some star power, after all, everyone knows them, but a burgeoning name, the 'next big thing', the word on everyone's lips is bound to gather more traction. After Skrillex appeared, how many people sought him out? Azalea Banks and Iggy Azalea guest slots are gold dust. Frank Ocean is still a hot commodity.

There is such a surplus of rappers bouncing around the internet nowadays. It's easy for anyone to record a few tracks and upload them into the gaping maw of the world wide web; as soon as those few tracks garner attention, they can become viral within hours. Once someone receives that amount of attention - sometimes even news coverage - it becomes more difficult to avoid them than to be unaware of them. When you've got an artist like that (Kendrick Lamar, ASAP Rocky), it's only a matter of time before they're inundated with offers and options.

It's a good time for hip-hop right now. The torrents of gobsmacking material that's been released this year already beggars belief. The past few years have been lined with radiant artists and protegés rapidly ascending the stairway to stardom. Take Chance The Rapper, he considers Childish Gambino a mentor, who himself has only been at the rap game proper for a few years, and although he looks up to him like a "big brother", it wouldn't be ridiculous to see Chance zipping past Gambino into the spotlight.

All these new artists are helping each other to the top, as well as helping themselves - there doesn't seem to be the real feuding of yore, and instead of rappers coming to fisticuffs, they're willing to give each other a hand; they don't see each other as threats any more. There's more camaraderie, and the big names are more than willing to pitch in and assist; rather than feeling threatened by up-and-comers, they're eager to hear what the new generation has to say.