List of the Top British Rappers
The UK has one of the best and most established rap scenes in Europe, with a rich history dating back to the 1980s. Over the years, British rappers have gained worldwide recognition and respect, making it one of the most influential hip hop markets outside the US.
It is only appropriate that British rappers were the pioneers of hip hop in Europe, since the UK has had a longstanding association with the US. Some of the first UK rappers, from mid-1980s to early 1990s, were Derek B, Silver Bullet, Cookie Crew, London Posse, Demon Boyz, Hijack, Overlord X or the Criminal Minds, as well figures behind the scenes like DJ Froggy and Simon Harris. All helped solidify the British rap scene.
As hip hop in the United States evolved over time, UK rappers and the British hip hop scene followed right behind. Generation after generation, hip hop artists in the U.K. went from the B-Boy era to the Gangster Rap era to today’s Trap, Grime, and Drill Rap era, all while British rappers have pioneered rap and hip hop music in Europe.
The UK rap scene boasts a lineup of hip hop artists with a much larger global reach than any other European country. This includes Central Cee who has appeared as one of the hottest artists in the industry. Legends like the lyrically crafty Stormzy. Unrivaled artists like South London’s Dave. Tion Wayne who has rapidly became a massive sensation in hip-hop. Aitch who is known for his dynamic and imaginative style.
Within the landscape of the British rap scene witnessed the leading figure in grime music with Skepta and view two of the world’s top Drill rappers with Russ Millions and Headie One, who helped popularized the genre in U.K. View the on point and cutting-edge artistry of Fredo and AJ Tracey, the unparalleled versatility and creativity artists like slowthai and ArrDee, or the persistence and consistency of the legacy of Bugzy Malone. Overall, UK rappers are diversified bringing much flavor into mix of British hip-hop music.
Top 30 UK Rappers
1. Central Cee
Central Cee burst onto the British rap scene in 2017. He quickly gained popularity with hits such as “Doja,” “Loading,” “Day In The Life,” and “Obsessed With You,” which catapulted him to fame.
The mixtapes Wild West in 2021 and 23 in 2022 were both a commercial success. His storytelling style fuses gritty street narratives with an edge, has earned him a spot as not only of one the top UK rappers, but one of the top hip-hop artists in the game.
Since debuting with the EP Six Paths in 2016, Santan Dave, known mononymously as Dave, has established himself as a powerful voice in U.K.’s rap scene.
His groundbreaking album Psychodrama in 2019 earned him much notoriety and solidified his status as one of the most important British rappers of his generation. Hit singles like “Starlight,” “Funky Friday,” “Clash,” “Samantha,” and “Location” featuring Burna Boy showcase his versatility as an artist.
Stormzy has been a trailblazer for grime and UK hip-hop since his emergence. With his 2015 freestyle “Shut Up” recorded in a park becoming a cultural phenomenon, Stormzy quickly became a household name after debuting in 2011. His debut album, Gang Signs & Prayer (2017), after releasing multiple EPs, was the first grime album to reach number one on the charts.
His second album, Heavy Is the Head, in 2019, continued his success, dominating the charts, the streets and UK’s music scene. His latest release, 2022’s This Is What I Mean, only further proved that Stormzy is one of the best to ever do it.
Skepta has been a defining figure in the UK grime scene since the early 2000s. Origially part of the influential North London group Boy Better Know, Skepta’s impact stretched beyond music into the realms of fashion and culture.
His work helped grime gain international recognition, particularly through projects like Konnichiwa (2016) or Ignorance is Bliss (2019). Renowned for tracks like “Shutdown” and “Energy (Stay Far Away),” Skepta’s influence is seen in his London swagger that have made him an icon to many aspiring artists.
Aitch is a Manchester-born rapper who took the UK rap scene by storm with his sharp wit and playful style. Making his debut in 2016, his breakout single “Straight Rhymez” amassed millions of views and paved the way for chart-topping hits such as “Taste (Make It Shake).”
Aitch’s ability to blend humor with a distinctive Northern accent makes him stand out, and with tracks like “Rain” produced by Tay Keith, he has solidified his position as one of the bright young UK rappers.
6. Tion Wayne
Tion Wayne has been an influential British rapper in the evolution of the UK drill, grime, and Afroswing scene. Since his beginnings in 2010, Tion Wayne has consistently proven his versatility across genres, recently four projects including 2021’s Green with Envy.
His collaboration with Russ on “Keisha & Becky” and his part in the remix of the viral hit “Body” have showed his contribution to U.K. music. Tion Wayne’s unique blend of charisma and street credibility keeps him at the forefront of UK urban music.
7. AJ Tracey
A versatile artist hailing from Ladbroke Grove, London, AJ Tracey made waves in the UK rap scene with his self-titled album in 2019, AJ Tracey. AJ Tracey’s style is a mixture of grime, UK garage, and hip-hop, which is evident in hits like “Ladbroke Grove,” “Little More Love,” “West Ten,” and “Butterflies” featuring Not3s.
His EP Secure the Bag in 2017 set the stage for a successful career. With some of the dopest rhymes, has has earned him a place in the upper echelons of British rappers.
8. Russ Millions
Russ Millions, originally known as Russ Splash, revitalized the UK drill scene with his energy. Debuting with his single “Link Up” in 2016, he became a viral sensation with the track “Gun Lean” in 2018, which spawned a dance craze and brought drill music into mainstream conversations.
His pivotal role in the UK drill scene was further cemented with the success of “Body,” a collaboration with Tion Wayne, which achieved a number one on the UK singles chart.
Brighton-born ArrDee emerged as a fresh face in the UK rap scene in 2021 with his fast-paced flow. Breaking into the mainstream with his standout verse on a remix of “Body” by Russ Millions and Tion Wayne, ArrDee quickly became known for his youthful style.
His debut single, “Oliver Twist,” secured his position as one of the top rising artist. With a flair for turning tracks into viral hits, showcased on multiple songs on the album Pier Pressure, ArrDee continues to strive in UK’s rap scene.
10. Headie One
Headie One is another influential figure within UK drill music. Coming from North London’s Tottenham community, Headie One’s rise to prominence began during the late 2010s with the release of handful of projects, including The One, The One Two, and Music X Road.
His debut studio album, Edna, was an instant classic, released in 2020 and skyrocketed to the top of the internationals. Headie One’s ability to navigate between rawness of the streets of London and his ability to related makes him one of the most compelling artists in the UK drill scene.
11. Bugzy Malone
Manchester’s Bugzy Malone has been a pivotal force in the UK grime scene for years. He entered onto the scene with his “SwaggaMan” release in 2010, Malone’s rise to fame was marked by his “Walk with Me” EP in 2015.
Since then, with his biographical approach to music, Bugzy Malone has not let the UK hip-hop fans down. EPs and albums like Facing Time, King of the North, B. Inspired, and The Resurrection of showcased why the actor slash rapper is a legend in hip-hop.
12. J Hus
J Hus has been a prominent figure in the UK music scene since his breakthrough in 2015. He quickly gained attention with his debut single “Dem Boy Paigon” and solidified his status with the critically acclaimed “Did You See” in 2017, which became an anthem in the UK and beyond.
His debut album Common Sense and his second album Big Conspiracy was both huge successes. J Hus’s innovative approach has been credited with helping to popularize “Afroswing,” a style that has influenced many artists.
13. Digga D
Digga D has made a name for himself in the UK drill scene, credited for helping with evolving the drill genre with other UK rappers. Digga D gained notoriety with songs like “No Diet,” “Pump 101,” “Woi,” “Energy,” and “Wasted.”
Through the release of mixtapes like Noughty by Nature, Made in the Pyrex, and 2023’s Back to Square One, his artistry continues to thrive.
London-based rapper Fredo has become recognized for his unique blend of trap and hip-hop. He first came to light with the track “They Ain’t 100” in 2016 and solidified his reputation with his 2018 mixtape Tables Turn, which showcased his lifestyle and experiences growing up in West London.
His collaboration with Dave on the chart-topping hit “Funky Friday” gave him wider acclaim. Fredo’s debut album Third Avenue in 2019 and the follow-up Money Can’t Buy Happiness in 2021 helped solidify himself as a “Top Boy” in the UK rap scene.
Giggs is often regarded as one of the forefathers of the street rap scene in the UK. Emerging from the infamous Peckham section of South London, Giggs began his ascent with the release of his debut album Walk in da Park in 2008.
Known for his deep voice and slow flow, Giggs rose to mainstream success with his album Landlord in 2016 and further reaffirmed his dominance with Wamp 2 Dem in 2017. His unorthodox delivery and the raw authenticity has made him a top figure in the UK hip-hop community.
Coming out of the streets of South London, SL burst onto the UK rap scene with his distinctive persona and flow. SL gained widespread recognition with his 2017 hit “Gentleman,” and ever since he has been one of UK’s most promising young British rappers.
He has release several projects including Selhurst SE25 and Different Dude in 2020, all showcasing why he is the next top rapper of the British hip-hop scene.
Mist, hailing from Birmingham, is among the top UK rappers within the grime category with his unmistakable Brummie accent. He stepped into the limelight with his 2016 EP M I S to the T, which included the hit single “Karlas Back.”
His follow-up project, the critically acclaimed Diamond in the Dirt (2018), features collaborations with notable artists and spawned the hit “Ain’t the Same”. Mist has received several accolades and nods, while only continuing to be a main factor in British rap scene.
After debuting in 2016, a series of mixtapes led to his album debut of the UK classic, Nothing Great About Britain in 2019. He soon gained immediate attention for his sharp-tongued delivery and punk-infused hip-hop beats.
With a number of highlights in his career, his most notable achievements were the release of the acclaimed projects of Tyron and Ugly, in 2021 and 2023. He has solidified his reputation as a rapper who is unafraid to go against the norm.
Nines, of Church Road in North West London, rose to fame with a string of successful mixtapes, including One Foot In (2015), One Foot Out (2017) and Crop Circle (2018), which depicted the trials and tribulations of London’s street life. His critically acclaimed album Crabs in a Bucket was released in 2020, only further stamping his status as a significant voice in British hip-hop.
Swarmz, a name that has been gaining much momentum within the UK rap scene, is a London rapper whose music contains elements of rap, Afroswing, and dancehall influences.
Swarmz, also a former professional athlete, has gradually been making an impact that has been felt through hits like “Lyca,” “Bally,” “Reload,” and “Payslips,” that took the scene by storm. His versatility has earned him a sizeable fanbase, all anticipating each new release.
Deno, originally from South London’s Brixton, gained online fame as a teenager with his schoolyard freestyles. His natural talent quickly transitioned into becoming one of the top up-and-coming British rappers.
Deno’s blend of R&B and rap continues to resonate with a young audience. Examples of his talent can be witnessed on the album Boy Meets World and on tracks like “Advice” with Cadet.
Jay1, coming out of Coventry, England, of Jamaican descent, has become synonymous with hard-hitting punchlines and a confident delivery that can move the most novice UK rap fan.
He made a strong entry into the UK hip hop scene with his hit single “Your Mrs” in 2019, which quickly became an anthem. Jay1’s debut mixtape, One Wave (2019), showcased his unique style, leading him to be one of the exciting new voices in British hip-hop.
Octavian grew up in London and rapidly made a name for himself as a forward-thinking artist blending genres like house, trap, and drill. His breakthrough single “Party Here” became an underground sensation in 2017.
His approach to music has drawn praise from peers and influencers like Drake. His 2019 mixtape Endorphins and the accompanying international recognition positioned Octavian one of the top innovative British rappers in the game.
Dutchavelli, out of Birmingham, England, rose to fame with an imposing stature and a deep, gritty vocal presence that is instantly recognizable. His breakout track “Only If You Knew” in 2020 shook the UK drill scene with its raw storytelling and dynamic production.
Dutchavelli’s debut mixtape Dutch From The 5th arrived the same year, featuring a collection of hard-hitting anthems that resonate with authenticity and street experiences, positioning him as a titan within the genre.
25. Unknown T
Unknown T, raised in East London, stepped onto the UK drill scene with a commanding presence. He captured nationwide attention with the hit single “Homerton B” in 2018, one of the tracks instrumental in bringing drill into the mainstream spotlight.
Unknown T’s releases, like the mixtape Rise Above Hate (2020), have solidified his status as a major figure in UK drill, as he continues to push the boundaries of the genre.
26. Abra Cadabra
Abra Cadabra, the stage name of Tottenham-born rapper, shot to fame in 2016 with his hit single “Robbery (Remix).” His distinct sound skillfully blends UK drill and Afrobeat rhythms, earning him much success in recent years.
In 2020, he released “On Deck,” which became another landmark track in his career, leading to his mixtape Product of My Environment, which showcased his versatility and narrative depth.
MoStack, a native of North London, combines witty wordplay with vibrant, dance-inspired beats to create a distinct style within UK rap and hip-hop.
His breakthrough track “Liar Liar” released in 2016, elevated his status in the urban music scene. MoStack’s debut album Stacko (2019) delivered a blend of Afrobeat-influenced rap, earning him accolades and chart success.
Bandokay is an emergent talent from the UK drill scene and the son of the late influential drill artist Mark Duggan. Hailing from Tottenham, North London, Bandokay is part of the rap group OFB (Original Farm Boys) and has contributed to the popularization of the UK drill sound. Notable tracks like “Ambush” have acknowledged Bandokay as a rising star in the new wave of UK rappers.
29. Yxng Bane
Yxng Bane in East London, has been a versatile force in UK music since his meditative hit “Rihanna” in 2016. Yxng Bane stands out for effortlessly merging elements of R&B, dancehall, Afrobeats, and rap to create a smooth and infectious sound.
His 2018 mixtape HBK was met with positive reviews, embedding him as a go-to artist for mellow hooks and anthems alike.
30. Potter Payper
Potter Payper emerged from the underground rap scene, and has been respected for his mixtapes and freestyles long before his commercial breakthrough. His mixtape series Training Day has been particularly well-received and helped with elevating his status in the UK rap landscape.
Honorable Mention British Rappers:
– Hardy Caprio Youtube: Hardy Caprio and Instagram: @Hardy Caprio
– kwengface Youtube: kwengface and Instagram: @kwengface
– Steel banglez Youtube: Steel banglez and Instagram: @Steel banglez
– Pa Salieu Youtube: Pa Salieu and Instagram: @Pa Salieu
– Wretch 32 Youtube: Wretch 32 and Instagram: @Wretch 32
– Backroad gee Youtube: Backroad gee and instagram: @Backroad gee
Top UK Rappers Related Topics:
*Unofficial Order. The more popular artists that have the most followers, streams, views, and released the most recent music are near the top.
*If any artists are missing from the list email firstname.lastname@example.org