It’s 2015 and grime is buzzing. One of the genres leading MCs, Skepta, is releasing fire new tracks every other week, and popping up everywhere from New York City’s MoMA PS1 party to Drake’s OVOFest. His recent remix of Jamie XX’s “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” is nothing short of 2015 pop gold.
Last year we gave you a list of the top UK mcs, just as we saw the popularity start to rise in America. Since then, it’s become a lot more popular, and we figured it was time to give our grime enthusiasts some new music to check out. Sounds good to you, right?
From Skepta’s little brother JME to B.o.B collaborator Giggs, there are a ton of dope artists in the grime scene that you may not have heard before. Here’s ten of them we’re particularly digging right now.
You may know JME, Skepta’s brother, from the “That’s Not Me” track, but he’s got a whole slew of ill jams. Check out these 96 bars he delivered on “96 Fuckries,” then put on his entire Integrity> project. He’s also one hell of a producer, if you’re into grimey beats, so check out some of those instrumentals up on his Soundcloud.
The 22-year-old Stormzy is one of the younger cats on this list, but his flow is seasoned to perfection. Citing influences from Skepta, but also artists like Lauryn Hill, his style is unique to say the least. Check out “Not That Deep” for a taste of what this up-and-comer is capable of.
“New Banger” is just that: a banger. Check out the East Ham, London native take hip hop for a spin. If you dig it, he’s got four albums, six mixtapes, and a whole bunch of one-offs to jumpstart your evening. That’s right, he’s been doing his thing for 15 years now, and with an album due out later this year, it’s a good time to be a Kano fan.
It’s tough to say, but Wiley might be the best-known MC on this list. The 36-year-old Londoner has Trinidadian blood that gives his brand of grime a sort of dancehall feel. With a serious flow, this music video for “Chasing The Art” takes you on a street-art tour to the soundtrack of Wiley’s bars.
There’s something so fresh about the British flow over mammoth, dupsteppy beats. P Money’s “Originators” is a perfect example of how hard-hitting the sound can be.
Another massive track of his is “What Did He Say,” released in 2008. Peep that one if you want to back up a little bit.
Grime takes a lot of nods from Jamaican dancehall, and Riko Dan is a blistering MC who embraces both styles. Peep the London rapper’s track “Ghost Chili” for some very spicy grime. As someone who began MCing at the ripe age of 15, it’s safe to say that grime is in this artist’s blood by this point.
At just 24 years old, Chip has made quite the name for himself. At just 18 years old, he released I Am Chipmunk to pretty solid reviews. His style crosses over into R&B, as seen on tracks like “Holdin’ That.”
Grime is known, in the US at least, as the dubstep precursor, and stylistically usually follows that type of beat structure. However, grime MCs can embrace all sorts of tempos, as proven on Akala’s “Murder Runs The Globe.”
Nathaniel Thompson, better known as Giggs, has been making music for 10 years now, but the XL Recording artist might just be entering his prime. Check out the short-film-of-a-music-video for “Who’s Dat.” The South London MC has a laid-back flow that is often a rare find amongst the grime MCs, so embrace the chill with this one.
There’s a little #grimebeef on this one. Bugzy Malone isn’t shy about mentioning Chip, who’s named earlier in this list, on this track. Grime MCs get nasty on the track, as heard on this one when Malone says, “Like your likkle show can’t get locked off, I turn into the Devil, take off the door, Then I let 2 2 shots off.” The Manchester MC ain’t playin’.