The UK rap scene has come a very long way in the last decade; from the late 2000s, where you could count the number of successful UK rap artists on two hands; to the mid-2010s, where countless rappers were hitting over one million views on YouTube; to today, where artists such as Stormzy, Young Adz and Aitch are known as global superstars.

Each year, it seems that UK artists are breaking new barriers. In 2018, Stormzy became one of the first UK rappers to feature on the Sunday Times’ Rich List, with £16m generated. In 2019, Dave became the second artist ever, after The Arctic Monkeys, to win the Mercury Prize and Album of the Year at the BRIT Awards for the same album. And 2020 has already been a huge year for UK rap, with new albums from the likes of J Hus, Cadet, Yxng Bane, Headie One and more.

In this blog post, we break down our top UK rap songs of 2020 so far, in no particular order.

 

Mist & Fredo - House Party

Mist & Fredo - House Party

Photo Credit: YouTube

This impressive spin on Nightcrawlers’ classic party banger “Push The Feeling On”, is the perfect tune for any post-lockdown parties you may have planned. Aptly named “House Party”, the bouncy instrumental produced by Steel Banglez set the canvas for a huge collaboration between Mist and Fredo.

 

Stormzy - Still Disappointed

Stormzy - Still Disappointed

Photo Credit: YouTube

The beef between Stormzy and Wiley has undoubtedly been one of the highlights of 2020 so far – even if Stormzy never actually replied to Wiley’s “Eediyat Skengman 3”. Stormzy’s second reply, “Still Disappointed”, is up there with the best UK diss tracks of all time, with some very rude bars and an incredible video. This was all turned around in less than 24 hours while Stormzy was in the middle of a UK tour!

 

Cadet - Support Me

Cadet - Support Me

Photo Credit: YouTube

Written and recorded by Cadet before he passed away in tragic circumstances in February 2019, this inspirational song tells the story of an author who struggles to get the support he needs from his other half. The song, video and storyline is all perfectly executed and shows just a fraction of what could have been if Cadet was still here today. The release of this video also coincided with the launch of his new album, “The Rated Legend”.

 

Mostack - Staqdo

Mostack - Staqdo

Photo Credit: YouTube

As an artist who’s consistently delivered fresh, creative music videos, there’s always a high expectation when Mostack drops a new tune. His single “Staqdo”, released in February, certainly doesn’t disappoint. The music video for this song seems to be set somewhere in the Caribbean, with real summer vibes and a hook that you can’t help but sing along to.

 

Dutchavelli - Surely

Dutchavelli - Surely

Photo Credit: YouTube

As Stefflon Don’s younger brother, Dutchavelli certainly has big shoes to fill. With a total of 15 million views on his first two music videos since being released from prison last year, it’s fair to say that he has filled them and then some. This catchy drill banger showcases his lyrical ability, as well as his unmistakable delivery that he’s become famous for. We absolutely love the Miami Cuban link chains that his American Bullies are wearing in the video, too!

 

iLL BLU x Bandokay & Double Lz (OFB) - Magic

iLL BLU x OFB Bandokay & Double Lz - Magic

Photo Credit: YouTube

This huge link up between producer iLL BLU and OFB’s Bandokay and Double Lz certainly isn’t your average drill tune. Bandokay & Double Lz bounce perfectly off one another over a catchy sampled instrumental, with strong female vocals on the hook to keep things interesting. This is certainly one to add to your lockdown playlist!

 

Lil Ayy - Another Day

Lil Ayy - Another Day

Photo Credit: YouTube

With bangers such as “Money Over Pagans” and “Comfy” racking up hundreds of thousands of views when he was still in school, Lil Ayy has been making all the headlines since changing his name from “AJ”. This includes signing for Snap Capone’s record label, 23 Formation, earlier this year. His new release, “Another Day”, is another example of just how much talent this young artist has; with wavey, melodic vocals but with deep, meaningful lyrics when you listen close.

 

Yxng Bane & K Trap - Are You Mad

Yxng Bane x K Trap - Are You Mad

Photo Credit: YouTube

This huge link up from Yxng Bane’s new mixtape, “Quarantime”, will have your head bopping in a matter of seconds. It’s all we’ve heard on BBC 1xtra and Capital Xtra during lockdown, and we’re really not surprised! Their 2017 link up on “Diamonds” was hard to beat, but this may well have topped it.

 

GRM Daily ft. Nafe Smallz, Yxng Bane, Blade Brown & Skrapz - Faith In My Killy

GRM Daily ft. Nafe Smallz, Yxng Bane, Blade Brown & Skrapz - Faith In My Killy

Photo Credit: YouTube

Let’s be honest; this song probably would have made our list even if it didn’t feature Nafe Smallz, Yxng Bane and Blade Brown – simply because it was Skrapz’ first release in what seems like forever! Set up by GRM Daily, this huge link up showcases Nafe Smallz and Yxng Bane’s effortless flows alongside the hard, deep lyrics from Blade Brown and Skrapz.

 

Tion Wayne, Dutchavelli & Stormzy - I Dunno

Tion Wayne, Dutchavelli & Stormzy - I Dunno

Photo Credit: YouTube

When Tion Wayne dropped the first trailer for this music video in early May, this was considered one of the biggest link ups of 2020, even before anyone knew it also featured Stormzy. Less than 2 weeks later and the video has already racked up nearly 5 million views on YouTube – and rightly so. This bouncy drill tune is undoubtedly one of the hottest songs of the year and even sees Stormzy igniting a new beef with Chip.

 

Headie One - GANG

Headie One - GANG

Photo Credit: YouTube

GANG” is the title track from Headie One’s new collaboration mixtape with producer Fred Again. With melodic autotune vocals and a fast, uplifting beat, it has a different vibe to the average Headie One song in a good way with “Charades” being his only other song that sounds remotely similar.

 

Graft - TOP

Graft - TOP

Photo Credit: YouTube

Earlier this year, we named Graft amongst our top UK rappers to watch in 2020, and he certainly hasn’t let us down. His smart punchlines and fierce delivery come together perfectly on this fast-paced, catchy song. But with several other fresh Spotify releases and music videos so far this year, such as “Nothing But Facts” and “Suh Yu Gwarn”, we can’t wait to see what he has to offer for the rest of 2020!

 

Tremz - Lightwork Freestyle

Tremz - Lightwork Freestyle

Photo Credit: YouTube

Liverpool’s Tremz has been one of the most popular rappers from the north for years now, and he seems to be making a huge comeback in 2020 with the highly anticipated release of his “Lifestyle Of A Pirate 2” mixtape. This hard drill freestyle on Pressplay’s YouTube channel is a must-listen and even caught the attention of Drake.

 

J Hus ft. Koffee - Repeat

J Hus x Koffee - Repeat

Photo Credit: YouTube

Featuring Koffee, “Repeat” was easily our favourite song from J Hus’ sophomore album “Big Conspiracy”. With a chilled, summer vibe it’s certainly one to add to your playlist. We’re still waiting on the video to drop though – if you’re reading this, J Hus, it’s not too late!

 

NSG - Ourself

NSG - Ourself

Photo Credit: YouTube

Another one on the list with a real beach party feel, this is probably our best-loved NSG song since “Options” in 2018. Like any other NSG tune, the music video is incredible too. It was filmed in Ghana with sharp 4K visuals, crazy camera effects and amazing dance moves.

 

DigDat x Aitch - Ei8ht Mile

DigDat x Aitch - Ei8ht Mile

Photo Credit: YouTube

As the title track from DigDat’s new album, the “Ei8ht Mile” video takes place on stage in a near-replica set from Eminem’s award-winning “8 Mile” film. The video sees DigDat and Aitch going back-to-back with fiery punchlines and hard flows over a fast-paced drill beat, seemingly trying to get one up over the other with each verse – much like in Eminem’s film

 

GeeYou x Yxng Bane - Bando Aspen

GeeYou x Yxng Bane - Bando Aspen

Photo Credit: YouTube

Another artist who was on our list of top UK rappers to watch in 2020, GeeYou has had a very successful start to the year. One of his highlights so far was the link up with Yxng Bane on “Bando Aspen”, which sees the two featuring on a wavy instrumental with catchy, melodic vocals throughout.

 

SVMI ft. A1 & P1 Caps - Bait Lies

SVMI x A1 & P1 Caps - Bait Lies

Photo Credit: YouTube

Executing the switch from cameraman to artist with true elegance, Manchester’s SVMI caught national attention earlier this year with his massive hit “Bait Lies”, featuring A1 and P1 Caps. No doubt the hook will be stuck in your head all day after listening to this, and it’s another great addition for your summer playlist. The video was directed by SVMI himself and even sees an appearance from Aitch. 

 

Bandokay - No Emotion

Bandokay - No Emotion

Photo Credit: YouTube

This hard banger from Bandokay is one of our favourite songs of the year, with catchy flows and impressive punchlines over a crazy instrumental. Whilst the lyrics aren’t for the faint-hearted, Bandokay’s delivery has improved tenfold over the last few years, which is why he’s one of the biggest drill artists right now. We’re still waiting on the music video for this one.

 

Abra Cadabra - Baby

Abra Cadabra - Baby

Photo Credit: YouTube

Abra Cadabra first rose to fame in 2016 with his [email protected] freestyle, which went on to be remixed by Krept & Konan under the track name “Robbery”. Since then, he’s released countless songs and collaborations but his latest number stands out above the rest by far. “Baby” sees Abz rapping over a hard drill beat with a catchy hook and smart punchlines, somewhat reminiscent of the late Pop Smoke.

 

Backroad Gee ft. Ambush & Pa Salieu - Party Popper (Remix)

Backroad Gee x Pa Salieu & Ambush - Party Popper Remix

Photo Credit: YouTube

Another 23 Formation artist who’s been making headlines this year, Backroad Gee shot to fame with the release of “Party Popper”, which was later remixed by Ambush and Pa Salieu. This track was also the subject of various viral Instagram freestyles, under the #PartyPopperChallenge hashtag.

 

Rimzee - G Wagon

Rimzee - G Wagon

Photo Credit: YouTube

G Wagon” is Rimzee’s second most-viewed release since landing home last year, with the music video amassing over one million views on YouTube in less than two months. With a raw, sampled rap instrumental with heavy-hitting bass, this is the perfect song to play on full volume in the car especially if you own a G Wagon

 

Meekz - Can’t Stop Won’t Stop

Meekz - Can't Stop Won't Stop

Photo Credit: YouTube

Arguably one of Manchester’s biggest artists from the last few years, Meekz certainly lives up to his reputation with his latest release. The instrumental is reminiscent of Meek Mill’s “Intro” on “Dreams & Nightmares”; with a slow build up to keep you on your toes, leading into a totally insane beat drop. Even if Meekz wasn’t driving a tank in the music video, this would still easily be one of the biggest bangers of the year!

 

Ard Adz - Tipsy

Ard Adz - Tipsy

Photo Credit: YouTube

To mark the release of his sophomore album “Miskeen”, Ard Adz debuted about five music videos in the space of two months – and they were all incredible! Our favourite tune out of them all is “Tipsy”, which sees Adz spitting to a fast-paced rap beat with a catchy hook that just makes you want to sing along, much like his two biggest tracks, “Saudi” and “Habibti”.

 

M24 ft. Tion Wayne - London

M24 x Tion Wayne - London

Photo Credit: YouTube

Honestly, we weren’t too sure about this track on the first time round of listening, but since then it’s grown on us a lot. Arguably one of the biggest drill link ups of 2020 so far, “London” sees M24 and Tion Wayne going back to back on a heavy instrumental with a catchy hook and hard punchlines. 

Have we missed out any of your favourite UK bangers that deserve to be on this list? Why not let us know your top rap songs of 2020 over on Instagram or Facebook?