The hit British reality TV show “Love Island” is back on Hulu for it’s fifth season. Last year, this show became my summer nightly ritual. I made all my friends watch it. I even paid for a VPN just so I could stream it in real time.
So what does this have to do with music? As an American, I had really only heard of a couple rap artists from the U.K. and that was mostly due to Drake’s album “More Life.” However, since watching this show I’ve really gotten into the U.K.’s hip-hop scene and discovered a world of music I’d been missing out on. It’s because of this that I’ve decided to create a guide to British hip-hop for other Americans. I hope you enjoy it
This South London rapper went on tour with Cardi B back in 2017. Ms. Banks’ ‘Fire in the Booth’ freestyle is what originally caught my eye during the search. Her single “Snack” with Kida Kudz has the potential to be a huge summer hit.
This French-British rapper from London was featured on the BBC Sound of Music 2019. When he was in his teens, he was homeless. Now, he’s making waves in the UK rap scene. He recently released his mix-tape “Endorphins.”
IAMDBB is taking a neo-soul approach to the rap game, and she kills it. The singer from Manchester was ranked #3 on BBC’s Music Sound of 2018 list.
Stormzy is actually well known in America in his own right. He made waves at Coachella in 2017. He recently released his first solo single since 2010, Vossi Bop and he’s also currently working on a full length album.
The 25-year-old rapper has been releasing mixtapes since she was 15, has received praise from Kendrick Lamar, and was the opening act for Gorillaz in 2017. She’s also a rising photographer.
This 20-year-old artists album “Psychodrama” is the fastest streamed British debut album of all time. It topped the UK charts in its first week. Dave’s music is much more contemporary than most of the UK rap scene, and it’s doing nothing short of redefining what’s conventional.
Skepta is also fairly well known in America. “Praise the Lord” with A$AP Rocky was a lot of people’s first introduction to the North London rapper. However, he’s been around long before Rocky introduced him, making waves since 2007. He recently released his fifth studio album “Ignorance is Bliss” in May.