Another testament to the growth of the UK’s rap music scene. A line up dominated by home grown artists being able to fill a 20,000 capacity venue would have been considered unthinkable just a few short years ago – however here we are and its happening.
Over summer rappers from the UK have dominated the radio air waves and had headline slots at all the main festivals including Wireless and Reading & Leeds.
View counts and streams for the UK artists have collectively been in the hundreds of millions – and the artists have even managed to gain respectable album and single chart positions. Internationally the recognition and respect only continues to increase – so it is only right that these artists stand shoulder to shoulder with the most exciting and active international urban artists.
Local boy gone worldwide – Kojo Funds grew up in the deprived area of Canning Town where violence and gangs were an unfortunate part of life growing up. Turning his focus to music his unique blend of singing and rapping, which he has termed ‘AfroSwing’ has helped him develop a massive fan base which led to him signing a deal with Atlantic Records. He has collaborated with international artists such as Kranium and most of the heavy hitters in the UK RAP scene. His latest track ‘Who Am I’ featuring Manchester MC Bugsy malone sees him switching his style to fit a UK Garage tempo – only further proof of his musical talent and diversity.
Chip is without a doubt one of the Rap scenes veterans. Switching seamlessly between Rap and Grime sounds over his long musical career he has weathered many storms to finally carve his own path as a highly successful independent rapper.
When he first came onto the scene in 2006 he was known as Chipmunk and released his breakout track “Who Are You”. Two years later he was signed in a six figure deal with Columbia Records, going on to release two albums with a string of collabs with artists such as Chris Brown, Trey Songz and Mavado.
After his deal he continued to release further well recieved mixtapes and adroitly managed the shift to streaming and online releasing high quality music videos on his own channel with streams in the millions. In the past couple of years he became known for his high profile beefs with Bugzy Malone and Yungen – however recently he has been focusing solidly on the music dropping a series of bangers the most recent being a collab with Dancehall legend Red Rat
Hailing from Walsall Jorja Smith grew up in a musical family, setting her up to be one of the leading names in British R’n’B. After years of teasing us with singles she finally dropped her debut album ‘Lost and Found’ reaching number 3 on the UK album charts. Although she is known more for her serious ballads she has also found the the time to get more uptempo with collabs with Kurupt FM/Preditah. She has also collabed with Rap/Grime artist Stormzy and international artists Drake and Kali Uchis
Mist is a rapper that came up from the most unlikely of backgrounds. Growing up in the deprived area of Newtown in Birmingham 130 miles north of London he was sucked into the life of gangs and street crime resulting in his incarceration. This led to him focus on music. His freestyles on SBTV and P110 gained millions of views – however his breakout hit was Steel Bangles and Sevaqk produced ’Karla’ which gained him attention from all around the UK. Since then he has gone on to release two EPs and epic visuals on his own Youtube channel, gaining millions of views and streams.
Ella Mai is still a bit under the radar in the UK, her home country however her sultry vocals combined with hip-hop inflected RnB helped carved a solid presence in USA and internationally. Signed to hip hop super producer DJ Mustard label 10Summers she has released three EPs, Ready, Change and Time. The 2017 EP Ready gave rise to the slow burning hit Boo’d Up which has been remixed by Nicki Minaj and Quavo.
Her latest track – Trip looks like another sure fire hit.
Coming from the same area and closely affiliated with Kojo Funds, Yxng Bane has carved his own niche in the UK Rap scene. He stood out from the crowd wearing a costume mask of comic book villain Bane, he originally started as a rapper before diversifying into his more melodic singing style. Originally releasing music on his SoundCloud account. His break out track was his remix of Ed Sheerans “Shape Of You” and he has continued the wave with top 10 feature Yungens “Bestie”, and the massive tracks Rihanna and Froze. He has kept up the work rate with collaborations from all the main artists in the UK Rap scene – most recently Headie One and a collaborative mixtape with D Block Europe.
Fusing trap hip-hop, RnB, dancehall reggae and pop into her own unique sound and style, this year shows no sign of slowing down for Stefflon Don. Originally coming onto the scene with freestyles and remixes over popular UK Rap tracks, since then she has released two mixtapes Real Ting in 2016 and Secure in 2018. She has collaborated with international heavyweights such as DJ Khaled and French Montana, as well as the biggest artists in UK Rap and RnB.
Her crossover appeal and distinct style have kept her in the charts and on festival lineups all year – and her rise in the music industry is only set to continue.
Charlie Sloth with Special guests. Headie One, Ambush and D Block Europe
Its only right that the biggest DJ in UK Rap right now has a slot and gives the crowd the opportunity to turn up live to the rappers that have dropped some of biggest rap tunes of the year!
There will also be international artists performing including Pusha T who dropped a now infamous diss track to Drake, Afro beats supremos Mr Eazi and Davido and the massive Chicago native Chance The Rapper.
Unfortunately tickets to 1xtra live have officially sold out, but you will be able to catch all the action live on the radio and online on the 1xtra website.