Top 20 Releases From 2019 [Part 2]

Back with part 2. The England edition…

Top 5 UK Rap Albums 2019

I must admit, it took me a short while to get into the „new wave“ of UK rap and I’m still not into every artist/group (mainly because of the overuse of Auto-Tune), but North London’s Headie One is definitely one that caught my attention. Not necessarily known for personal songs, “Music x Road” offers exactly that, in addition to the usual braggadocio and hood tales tunes of course. And although it’s dubbed as a „mixtape“, the project could’ve easily been his debut album – it’s that good.

After 2 great EP’s and numerous (hit) singles, young Santan Dave finally delivered his debut album, “PsychoDrama”, in March 2019, and it certainly did not disappoint. His ability to tell not only his, but multiple stories is beyond amazing. Stories about his hometown (Streatham), being black in England, abusive relationships, inner demons – about life. And of course there’ve been plenty of great story tellers before, but it’s Dave’s style and delivery that make him one of a kind.
I can’t think of any other 21 year old rapper being as developed as Dave is. Sky’s the limit for this future legend.

Some may know him as Sully from Top Boy (possibly the best UK crime drama series to date). Most know him as Kano the grime pioneer. The Newham icon. 15+ years deep in the game. Even more incredible to hear that Kano is still getting better and better: His new album, “Hoodies All Summer”, is remarkable! From the live instrumentation to the subject matters to his bars, everything is top notch. Kano’s best album to date.

I didn’t really know much about Northampton’s slowthai prior to his debut album, “Nothing Great About Britain”. And almost missed out: What an artist, what an album! The title track sets the tone for the rest of the album: Politically driven lyrics over instrumentals that sound like a mixture of hip-hop, grime and punk. Unique and different.

The best UK compilation/soundtrack last year (sorry Drake/Top Boy), curated by Roc Nation’s first UK signee Rapman, who also opens the project.
A nice blend of rap (Giggs, Skrapz), trap/drill (Krept & Konan, Digga D), R&B (RAYE, Jorja Smith) and even dancehall (Buju Banton) that showcases the diversity and range of the UK music scene. 12 songs, no fillers.

Honorable Mentions

 

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