So, if you’re a fan of hip-hop you’ve probably heard Drake’s new album/playlist ‘More Life’. If you haven’t, then I recommend checking it out. The blend of different musical styles and influences really work, and shows the love Drake has for all kinds of music. It’s a fun project, and should be treated as such. But alas, this is not a review of ‘More Life’.
If you’ve listened to ‘More Life’ then you would’ve noticed that it features UK artists such as Giggs, Jorja Smith, Skepta and Sampha, and has a distinct British feel to it. It’s no secret that Drake has been a huge fan of the UK hip-hop/grime scene for a while now, consistently showing his support for new releases and tours. The likes of aforementioned Skepta and Giggs, and up-and-coming artists such as Dave and AJ Tracey have all benefited from his love and support, allowing thier music to be opened up to a broader audience that Drake has.
In truth, the UK hip-hop/grime scene has been in a strong place for a number of years now and many artists are achieving mainstream success, with or without Drake. Does the UK hip-hop/grime scene need Drake? No. But it’s definitely a good thing that someone is appreciating the music and the culture, without simply exploiting it. With Stormzy smashing the charts with his latest album ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’ and prominent artists selling out venues up and down the country the UK hip-hop/grime scene has never been in a better place than now. It’s a scene rich wih new talent, and I for one am extremely excited by some of the artists that are coming through the ranks. On the back of that, here’s a list of 10 of the most exciting new artists coming out of the UK hip-hop/grime scene.
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Bringing back those Channel U and Risky Roadz vibes Skepta teams up with A$AP Mobs Young Lord to deliver us his latest single in the build to his much anticipated album Konnichiwa. The second wave of grime is in full effect, but with the instrumentalists taking most of the spotlight this time around, it was time for the MC’s to respond. Wiley’s new album Snakes and Ladders is rising up the charts, and Skepta is ready to follow – it’s a good time to be a fan of grime. The track is a real head-bopper, the 8-bit bouncy beat combined with Skepta’s flow has a very nice old school feel to it. It’s a throwback, anyone who use to listen to Frontlinerz, Choong Family, or P2J Project, will definitely appreciate the sound – check out Giggs collaboration with B.O.B on ‘Don’t Go There’ for similar tracks. Young Lord sings the catchy chorus, with Skepta delivering the heat. Pure fire!
First published: November 10, 2014
UK rapper Skepta returns with his mixtape entitled Blacklisted, bringing a whole new vibe and feel to his ever growing fan base. The mixtape has a much more chilled out and mellow feel to it than what fans would’ve come accustomed to. Skepta, like many UK rappers, had fallen down the dance/pop route and many critics felt like this was the future for him. Despite relative success in the charts Skepta’s routes had always been in grime/rap music and with this mixtape he returns to this… but bigger, better and stronger than ever. The mixtape really feels like Skepta has matured and evolved as an artist, touching on political, social and cultural matters. The beats of the songs are slower and deeper-sounding, with his vocals sounding much more edgy and cold, allowing the lyrics to really hit you. The mixtape has 12 songs on it, which vary from upbeat like Tour Bus Massacre (feat. Krept & Konan), to reflective like Castles, but all-in-all each track brings something different to the table. It’s this variety and audience retention which makes the mixtape extremely durable and well worth the buy. The new Skepta is a colder more reflective one and has had many fans screaming ‘praise The Lord, he’s back!’
First published: January 26, 2013