10 Best British Rappers of All Time

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Aight, you lot ready for this? We’re about to take a deep dive into the British rap scene, and trust us, it’s not for the faint-hearted.

This ain’t about the bling or the Billboard charts, nah, this is about raw talent, lyrical genius, and beats that’ll shake your speakers.

From the gritty streets of London to the sounds of the Midlands, UK rappers have been shelling down the scene, representing a unique blend of styles and sounds.

Whether you’re a grime fan, an aficionado of UK drill, or just a lover of good bars, these ten artists have left their mark on the UK rap scene and beyond.

Buckle up, ’cause we’re about to roll through the top 10 best British rappers of all time!

10. Ocean Wisdom

This Brighton-bred lad stormed the scene like a typhoon. Ocean Wisdom, real name Ocean Wilson, has been makin’ waves with his rapid-fire flow, unmatched speed, and smart wordplay since he burst onto the scene in 2014.

His debut track “Walkin'” even had people sayin’ he spit faster than Eminem, that’s a madness, innit?

Ocean’s first album, “Chaos 93′,” dropped under High Focus Records, marked a game-changer for UK rap, blending elements of grime, UK hip-hop, and a touch of the States’ influence.

What sets him apart? It’s his chameleon-like adaptability to spit over any beat, from gritty boom bap to skippy grime instrumentals.

Trust us, this ain’t just about speed, he’s got the bars and the brains to back it up!

9. Wiley

You can’t talk UK rap without talkin’ Wiley, innit? The ‘Godfather of Grime,’ born Richard Cowie Jr., has been droppin’ beats and bars since the early 2000s, and his impact on the UK scene has been monumental.

He’s been part of the game from garage days with Pay As U Go Cartel, and then Roll Deep, and he’s the one who really started pushin’ that raw, unfiltered sound that became grime.

Wiley’s been relentlessly inventive with his music, always switchin’ up his style and never afraid to experiment. His Eski beats and the seminal “Eskimo” instrumental are legendary.

And who can forget his heated ‘War Dubs’ where he’s going against every MC in the scene?

Wiley’s not just a sick artist, he’s an innovator, a trailblazer, and without him, UK rap and grime would never have sounded the same.

8. Ms. Dynamite

Talk about power and presence, fam, you’re talkin’ Ms. Dynamite. Born Niomi Arleen McLean-Daley, she’s the first female MC to win the Mercury Prize, and she done it with her debut album, “A Little Deeper.”

It’s a mad blend of UKG, hip-hop, R&B, and even some dancehall vibes. Her tracks “Dy-Na-Mi-Tee” and “It Takes More” shook the scene and showed that this London lass could spit bars with soul and substance.

But it ain’t just about the music with her. Ms. Dynamite’s been vocal about social issues, usin’ her platform to bring attention to racial and social inequalities.

She’s an artist, an activist, and an absolute force in the UK scene, a proper dynamite if you ask us!

7. Kano

Kane Brett Robinson, known to us lot as Kano, is a true grime don. From his days with N.A.S.T.Y Crew to his solo work, he’s been a consistent force in the scene.

Kano’s known for his sharp lyricism, hard-hitting delivery, and his ability to tell stories that resonate with the streets.

His debut album, “Home Sweet Home,” is a certified classic, with bangers like “P’s and Q’s” and “Typical Me.” But Kano ain’t a one-trick pony, fam.

His recent work, like the album “Made in the Manor,” shows his growth as an artist, touching on deep issues of identity, race, and the realities of life in East London.

Whether he’s spitting over a grimy beat or a soulful melody, Kano delivers every time, a true lyrical genius and a staple in the UK scene.

6. Skepta

Joseph Junior Adenuga, aka Skepta, is an MC who needs no introduction. Since his early days with Meridian Crew and Boy Better Know, Skepta’s been a major player in grime, pushing the sound beyond UK borders.

His music embodies the raw energy of grime, and his bars hit hard with realness. Tracks like “That’s Not Me” and “Shutdown” have become anthems in the scene.

In 2016, Skepta took home the Mercury Prize for his album “Konnichiwa,” beating out the likes of David Bowie and Radiohead, fam.

That’s a madness!

He’s collaborated with the likes of A$AP Rocky and Drake, further cementing his influence and reach.

Skepta keeps it 100, always staying true to his grime roots while innovating and pushing the genre to new heights.

5. Stormzy

From the South London district of Croydon to global stages, Michael Ebenazer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Jr., aka Stormzy, is an absolute force.

This grime king came up in the game droppin’ freestyles on YouTube before releasing his debut EP, “Dreamers Disease,” in 2014.

But it was his single “Shut Up” that really made noise, going certified platinum and making him a household name.

His debut album, “Gang Signs & Prayer,” hit number one in the UK and was the first grime album to do so.

And let’s not forget, my man headlined Glastonbury in 2019, a historical moment for grime.

Stormzy is more than just an artist; he’s an advocate for social change and isn’t afraid to use his platform to voice out on social issues.

Big up Stormzy, an absolute don in the game!

4. Dizzee Rascal

Dylan Kwabena Mills, known as Dizzee Rascal, changed the game with his debut album “Boy in da Corner” back in 2003.

This East London lad’s unique sound — raw, intense, and full of emotion — became the blueprint for grime.

Tracks like “I Luv U” and “Fix Up, Look Sharp” introduced a whole new energy into the UK scene. Dizzee’s got the ability to spit rapid-fire bars over electronic, grimy beats like no other.

Even after all these years, Dizzee’s influence on UK rap and grime can’t be overstated. He’s a pioneer who paved the way for many of the artists we see today.

3. M.I.A.

When you’re talkin’ about M.I.A., you’re talkin’ about a rapper who don’t fit in any box.

Born Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam, this don has always been about breakin’ boundaries and pushin’ the limits.

Her music — a mad mix of hip-hop, electro, dance, world music — is as diverse as it gets, and her politically charged lyrics don’t pull no punches.

From “Paper Planes” to “Bad Girls,” M.I.A. creates music that’s meant to shake you up and make you think. She’s more than just a rapper; she’s an artist in the truest sense.

2. Roots Manuva

Rodney Hylton Smith, aka Roots Manuva, is a true pioneer of the UK rap scene. Since the ’90s, he’s been bringin’ a unique sound that blends reggae, dub, electronic music, and rap.

His track “Witness (1 Hope),” off his album “Run Come Save Me,” is a classic and showcases his distinctive style.

His music is a reflection of his Jamaican roots and London upbringing, creating a sound that’s distinctively British and distinctively his.

Roots Manuva’s contribution to UK hip-hop ain’t just about the music; he paved the way for UK artists to embrace their own sound and identity.

1. The Streets

The Streets, spearheaded by Mike Skinner, changed the game by bringin’ a new sound and a new voice to UK rap.

Their debut album “Original Pirate Material” was like nothin’ else at the time, blendin’ garage, grime, and hip-hop, all delivered in Skinner’s unmistakable Brummie accent.

The Streets told the stories of everyday British life, from the mundane to the profound, with tracks like “Dry Your Eyes” and “Fit But You Know It.”

The Streets brought a uniquely British perspective to rap, one that was honest, raw, and unapologetically local.

Big up The Streets, for real!

We’ve journeyed through the UK’s finest, and what a ride it’s been. From pioneers who laid down the blueprint to those pushing the boundaries today, these artists represent the best of British rap.

They’ve shown us that the UK’s got a voice, a voice that’s as diverse, dynamic, and real as the people themselves.

These aren’t just rappers; they’re poets, storytellers, activists, and innovators.

They’ve carved out a space for UK rap on the global stage and made a lasting impact on the culture.

So next time you’re searching for some hard-hitting bars or beats that bang, look no further than these legends of the UK scene.

Big up the British rappers, innit!