As we draw to the end of another year, I feel it’s time to look back at some of the best Grime & UK rap songs of 2016. With the genres surge in popularity not showing any signs of slowing down, its been a great year for UK artists with their work getting more worldwide recognition. So with out anything further to say lets get into this:
10. Lex Luther – Mez X Davinche feat Stormzy.
Before Summer 16 I had not even heard of Mez if I’m perfectly honest, but then I stumbled across this mixtape ‘The M1 EP’ and then couldn’t stop listening. ‘Lex Luther’ reminds me of some old school grime, with Mez and Stormzy exercising their very different styles on the track. The whole EP is extremely well produced so credit to DaVinChe. It’s also nice to see link ups with different cities other than London. Big up Nottingham!
9. Ain’t the same – Mist
2016 has been a big year for M I S to the T, with songs such as Karlas Back getting 5m+ views on YouTube. But it’s another big hit of his this year that makes the list. Really because you can see the effort and work he’s putting into his music. The Music video filmed in Dubai setting the levels for production quality in 2017. Mist proving that he really isn’t the same.
8.Facing time – Bugzy Malone
With Bugzy probably being the most talked about MC in 2015 due the the whole Chip vs Bugzy thing, we were wondering what was going to happen in 2016. Well Bugzy released a new mixtape ‘Facing Time’ and honestly its probably my favourite mixtape of the year. No real filler songs, all hold their weight and with Bugzy’s 3 part music video for 3 of the songs on the tape I feel he definitely deserves a place on this list. The opening track Facing time has to be my favourite with a good hook and some deep lyric.
7. Antwi – Wretch 32
I don’t think there is a better lyricist in the United Kingdom than Wretch 32 and I believe that this track is a true representation of that. If you haven’t heard this track yet, stop reading and go and listen. The word play and delivery of every bar make the song a truly unbelievable piece of work. After his and Avelino’s FITB I didn’t think he could ever top that but in my opinion this does. Rise Of the Lyricists!
6. Dun talkin’ – Kojo Funds X Abra Cadabra
Spoiler: J Hus does not feature in the top 10 and this is not because I disliked his music that he released this year, ‘Friendly’ was a big hit. This year I feel that Kojo has really shown his talents in the Afrobeats genre. The hook on ‘Dun Talkin” I feel outshines any of J Hus’ releases of 2016 and so Kojo features. Together with this, probably 2016’s biggest new artist Abra Cadabra delivers a good verse. Really all about the hook though!
5. Lyrics – Skepta ft. Novelist
There’s no denying that Skepta is the most influential artist in Grime at the moment. Out of all the songs released on ‘Konnichiwa’ my favourite has to be ‘Lyrics’. The instrumental with its heavy bass gives it a real grimey feel demonstrating Skepta’s ability as a producer as well as an MC. Novelist is featured on the track and enters with a crazy flow. Novelist is certainly an artist to look for in 2017, he’s even created his own record label. Mmm Yeah!
4. 3 wheel ups – Kano ft. Giggs and Wiley
This song brings together three of the strongest UK artists and so before clicking the link I knew this would be one to remember. I was not disappointed, Wiley delivered with his verse and it was nice to hear Giggs rapping at a quicker pace to what we usually hear. The song really did well being nominated for best song at this years Rated Awards and MOBO’s.
3. Let’s lurk – 67 ft Giggs
Another song and another feature from Giggs, this time with 67. In 2016, with regards to UK rap, 67 have dominated. When that beat drops about 30 seconds in you can’t help but think 67 are really on it. LD’s hook is strong and Giggs’ verse is probably his best of the year. The mixtape/album ‘Let’s Lurk’ also has some very good tracks that could make anyone feel like a real roadman.
2. Thiago Silva – Dave X AJ Tracey
Dave is probably my favourite artist of all genre’s at the moment, the 18 year old is already known for his clever word play and this track shows he can switch up his flow to a more grimey feel. AJ Tracey also one of the most exciting artists of 2016 and someone I look forward to listening too in the future. The remix of ‘Pied Piper – Ruff Sqwad’ produced by 169 & Prince Rapid is probably my favourite instrumental of the year also and I’m glad to say that Dave and AJ Tracey vocals only made it better.
Now for the Number 1 spot…
1. Robbery (Remix) – Abra Cadabra ft. Krept & Konan.
No.1 spot? No problem, no problem. There’s a reason this track won best song at the MOBO’s and Rated Awards. I think it’s hard to argue this No.1 spot, 2016 has certainly been Abz’ year. The hook on this song is one of the best I’ve heard in a long time and with verses from two of the best lyricists in the UK you can’t go wrong. I think Abra Cadabra has definitely deserved the recognition and awards simply for his work rate this year, becoming known as the Kante of the UK music industry.
That’s my top 10, feel free to comment if you agreed with my choices or thought they were totally wrong. Also try and make your own top 10, its harder than it looks. With that said here are some honourable mentions:
AJ Tracey – Buster Cannon
J Hus – Friendly
Konan – Last night in LA
Cadet – 100 phone calls
Mostack – Liar Liar
Chip – can’t run out of bars