Playlist: London on Fire
London has long made its mark on American music…from the emergence of the Beatles, punk icons The Clash, to emo rock founding-fathers The Smiths and The Police. Recently, grime heavyweights Skepta and Stormzy have garnered worldwide praise and have once again brought attention to the flourishing UK scene. While grime has started to take a backseat to other genres, its veterans have opened doors for new R&B artists like Jorja Smith, Ray BLK and UK drill pioneers Smoke Boys *formally Section Boyz* and 67. Here’s a look at the artists who are making the UK one of the most diverse and innovative music scenes currently active. – W.U
Unknown T – Homerton B
Pure unadulterated UK drill from this newcomer hailing from East London’s Homerton borough. Think 67 meets Vybz Kartel.
Octavian – Lightning
This Central London rapper is currently one of my favorite young artists. Fresh off of his new album release Revenge, the 21-year-old has already racked up a solid Billionaire Boys Club clothing collab and praises from Drake via his Instagram.
Sam Wise – Rack Up
Hailing from South London and a member of the House of Pharaohs crew, Sam Wise proves why he’s one of the most promising voices out of the six-man band.
K-Trap feat LD – Edgware Road
One of those windows-down-at-the-stoplight, high-volume-at-night type of joints. LD is absolute madness on this track and K-Trap doesn’t disappoint.
Dave – Hangman
One of the great storytellers London has to offer. An introspective look into the life of Santan Dave.
Ama Lou – DDD *Tried Up*
Very much a “why do I keep seeing this” moment when I stumbled across this short film by Ama Lou on YouTube. Shot entirely in southern California, at first listen you wouldn’t have a clue that this sultry voice hails from the UK which makes her even more intriguing.
Etta Bond – Let Me Hit It
The best way to describe Etta Bond’s music is soulful, sexy, and simply blunt. Reminiscent of prime TLC of the 90’s, “Let Me Hit It” is a bold statement addressing the one-sided dynamic of a situationship.
Not3s – Just Fine
Afro-Bashment head honcho Not3s is as arrogant as ever about his new-found success and the happiness that follows.
Puma Blue – Moon Undah Water
Lo-fi rock resembling some of your favorite band’s early garage demos.
Bakar – All In
The result of what happens when punk rock reaches the ends. Bakar’s potential of crossing over into a pop icon is undeniable.
Maleek Berry feat Chip – Love U Long Time
The chemistry of a R&B Nigerian act linking up with a Jamaican rapper is a certified recipe for success in London. Two O.G’s at the top of their class, they make it all look so easy.
J Hus – Dark Vader
J Hus can do no wrong, period.
One Acen feat WSTRN – Vice Versa
Haile of WSTRN’s silhouette of a verse in the first four bars sold me. Divine instrumentation with a catchy hook.
Avelino feat Not3s – Boasy
I would assume that Boasy is a mix of boasting and bossy but all riddles aside, North London’s Avelino has been having a great run from scoring 2017’s FIFA theme “Energy” to releasing this years beyond-impressive mixtape No Bullshit.
Nines – I See You Shining
With a consistent emphasis on his witty lyricism and a knack for choosing pristine production, Nines can be best described as London’s Rick Ross. The XL Recordings artist’s second album Crop Circle is quite the trapper’s delight.
Lancey Foux – No Intro
A comedic yet genius use of the fuel station security cameras.