The Top UK Rap & Hip Hop Albums Of 2020
2020 has been another incredible year for hip hop, but for the UK rap scene in particular, it’s arguably been the biggest year yet. From Stormzy and Wiley’s beef in January, to homegrown artists dominating the charts, all the way to the national success of Krept & Konan’s “The Rap Game UK” TV show, it’s safe to say the scene has been taken to new heights. Alongside all of this, there’s also been countless mixtape and huge album drops throughout the year.
In this blog post, the Hatton Jewellers team have come together to compile our favourite UK rap and hip hop albums of 2020...
Nines - Crabs In A Bucket
After almost 18 months without a release, Nines surprised fans with his third studio album, “Crabs In A Bucket”, at the end of August. This was released alongside a 30-minute short film on his YouTube channel, which featured countless up-and-coming rappers, entertainers and YouTubers from the UK.
The 17-song album has been hailed album of the year by many and has earned him five nominations at this year’s MOBO Awards — more than any other artist. In other news, Nines recently revealed that he considered buying a Jesus-piece-style Arsene Wenger pendant in 2016. Had the pendant been made, we think this one may even have topped his famous Arsenal pendant.
J Hus - Big Conspiracy
It’s been a mixed year for J Hus, from dropping his debut album in January to seemingly disappearing for the rest of 2020. Regardless, there’s no denying that “Big Conspiracy” is an album that will go down in the history books of the UK music scene, as one that paved the way for other Afroswing artists.
Filled with beautiful melodies and catchy hooks from start to finish, this 14-track album debuted at number one in the UK charts and is certified Gold in the UK. It also includes several big international features in the form of Burna Boy, Koffee and Ella Mai.
Potter Payper - Training Day 3
Before 2020, Potter Payper hadn’t released anything in almost three years. But fast forward to September and he’d dropped a 4-track EP and a 22-track mixtape in the space of three months. His mixtape, Training Day 3, was arguably the most highly-anticipated project from a UK rapper in the last decade — debuting at number three in the UK album charts.
The mixtape boasts over an hour’s worth of deep storytelling lyrics, smart punchlines and soulful hip hop beats; perfect for fans of old school hip hop.
Cadet - The Rated Legend
Known to fans by the moniker “The Underrated Legend”, Cadet’s posthumous album “The Rated Legend” is a heartfelt tribute that will be played for years to come. This is not to be confused with “The Rated Legend” show in March 2019, which was organised as a tribute by his cousin Krept and featured over 25 of the UK’s biggest acts.
With 13 full tracks — most previously unreleased — Cadet’s storytelling ability is clear to see throughout the whole album; from Support Me to Gang Gang.
Skepta, Chip, Young Adz - Insomnia
Has there ever been a UK collaboration album like “Insomnia”? With three of the biggest artists from three different generations of UK music, going back-to-back on 35 minutes worth of bangers, the answer to that question is simple: no.
With the perfect mix of Skepta’s diverse sound, Chip’s smart lyrics and Young Adz’ wavey melodies, this album was a great way to start 2020. The trio also sport an impressive collection of iced out chains, gold bracelets and rings in the album’s main video, Waze.
Headie One - Edna
It’s been another incredible year for Headie One — which is evident from the price of the outfits he wears. With the release of his collaborative mixtape alongside Fred Again, “GANG”, which debuted in February, followed by the release of his debut album “Edna” in October.
With two projects dropping this year, he’s managed to rack up almost six million monthly listeners on Spotify alone. This is no doubt, in part, to the star-studded feature list on his debut album; from the likes of Drake, Future and Mahalia to Skepta, Aitch and Young Adz.
Giggs - Now Or Never
In the 15 years that Giggs has been in the UK music scene, he’s never been one to disappoint. From the release of his 2007 street anthem “Talkin’ Da Hardest” to his feature on Drake’s 2017 album “More Life”, he’s been one to watch for anyone who loves smart punchlines and an effortlessly-memorable delivery.
His latest project, “Now Or Never”, certainly doesn’t disappoint. With 16 songs worth of punchlines, heavy beats and A-list features, you’ll be bobbing your head in no time.
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