Author: Thomas Durkan
What a year 2015 was for hip-hop music. Kanye West took over Glastonbury with one of the most polarizing headline sets to ever take place, Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ smashed Spotify records and became arguably the best album of the year and ‘Hotline Bling’ was just about everywhere. However, one of the greatest things to come out of 2015 was the reinvigoration of the UK grime scene. With artists such as Skepta and Stormzy bringing the genre back into the mainstream, and even getting recognition on the other side of the pond, it is the most exciting time to apart of grime music since Dizzee Rascal dropped ‘Boy in Da Corner.’ Let’s take a look at which new artists have the potential to continue this trend in 2016.
It’s very rare to find an artist with as much charisma as Arizona based rapper Futuristic. He’s both likeable and funny, but most importantly he does this whilst being a very technically gifted MC. His extensive use of social media proves that he can rap over any beat and he’s got to where he’s at today from his own hard work and determination. Rumour has it he’s recently been signed by independent label Funk Volume and 2016 looks to be the year Futuristic will make it big.
Signed by Jay-Z’s label Roc Nation, produced by Skrillex and a frequent collaborator with Kanye West, Vic Mensa has some very powerful friends. And with people like that in his corner surely stardom is inevitable. The Chicago native, formerly a member of the group Kids These Days, is known for his ability to manipulate words and comparisons can easily be drawn to Yeezey. Look out for his upcoming debut album ‘Traffic’ which should be released at some point this year.
Lady Leshurr, born in Solihull in the West Midlands, has been around for a few years now. Known for her freestlye ‘Queens Speech’ series, she blew up in 2015 with numbers 4 and 5 going viral and earning critical acclaim. She will be bringing her brash and witty rhymes to a venue near you on her national tour in March and has just announced her first New York show. This is one lady you do not want to cross and it will be exciting to see what’s to come from her this year.
South London group Section Boyz are riding the current wave of grime music straight in to the mainstream. Having recently won best newcomer at the MOBO awards and being placed on the BBC Sound of 2016 long list, their use of both gritty aggressive lyrics and catchy hooks has also won endorsements from the likes of Drake. The are currently on a sold out tour of the UK. What makes all of this even more impressive is the fact they aren’t signed to a label and have done this all independently.
Hailing from Stretford near Manchester, Prose are a 3 piece acoustic hip-hop/garage rock band that are taking the area by storm and have recently won the CityLife breakthrough artist award. Rapper Michael Murray’s words tell a story of hard times and bad mistakes but with the way things are currently going for the lads it appears that will all be in the past. Prose have gigs coming up in Manchester and Leeds in March, grab tickets whilst you still can.