British hip hop became popular through such outlets as pirate radio, mix tapes and speciality record shops. By the 90s, rappers from the UK had developed a distinct style with cities such Bristol, Nottingham, Leeds, and Manchester, all sporting their own unique sound and style. Many of these British rappers are some of the best the world has to offer, and should definitely be known on a global scale. So who are some of your favorite British hip hop artists? Which London rappers define English rap? Who are the best British rappers, white or black?

Top 10 Best Current British Rappers: Top UK Hip Hop artists

The Top 10 Best Current British Rappers:


  • Stormzy
  • Jme
  • Kano
  • Chip
  • Wretch 32
  • Roots Manuva
  • Ghetts
  • Tinchy Stryder
  • Professor Green
  • 21 Savage

1. Stormzy


Stormzy

  • Net worth: ‎$20 Million
  • Born: 26 July 1993
  • Years active: 2010–present
  • Labels: Warner, Merky

Stormzy's "Shut Up", which was initially released as a freestyle on YouTube, became popular and peaked at number eight on the UK Singles Chart after he launched a campaign to reach Christmas number one. Stormzy won Best Grime Act at the 2014 and 2015 MOBO Awards and was named as an artist to look out for in the BBC's Sound of 2015 list. His debut album, Gang Signs & Prayer (2017), was the first grime album to reach number one on the UK Albums Chart and won British Album of the Year at the 2018 Brit Awards. In 2019, Stormzy achieved his first UK number-one single with "Vossi Bop" and his headline appearance at the 2019 Glastonbury Festival was widely praised; he wore a Union Jack stab vest designed by Banksy, in light of the rise in knife crime in London. His second album, Heavy Is the Head, was released on 13 December 2019.


2. Jme


Jme

  • Net worth: $7 million
  • Born: 4 May 1985
  • Labels: Boy Better Know

Jme released a single, "Over Me", in September 2009. He followed this single with another, "Sidetracked", which featured Wiley, followed by "CD is Dead", which featured Tempa T. These three singles are featured on the album, Blam!, which was released on 4 October 2010. On 13 February 2011, Jme released a compilation album entitled "History:" which peaked at 162 on the UK Albums Chart.


3. Kano


Kano

  • Net worth: $3 million
  • Born: 21 May 1985
  • Years active: 2000–present
  • Labels: Bigger Picture, Parlophone
  • Instagram: @therealkano

Kano's London Town (2007) featured his highest-charting single "This is the Girl" featuring Craig David. After signing to Parlophone, (a record label his cousin Dillon Smith is a member of) and six years without a studio release, Kano released his fifth album Made in the Manor (2016), Kano's most successful album to date. It was critically acclaimed by music critics and charted at number eight in the UK Albums Chart, becoming Kano's highest-charting release, as well as being considered one of the best albums of 2016 by numerous publications. It was shortlisted for the 2016 Mercury Prize and won Best Album at the 2016 MOBO Awards. He is also known for his acting, most notably playing the role of Sully in Top Boy.


4. Chip


Chip

  • Net worth: $3.5 Million
  • Born: 26 November 1990
  • Years active: 2004–present
  • Labels: Jive, Grand Hustle, Cash Motto

Jahmaal Noel Fyffe better known by his stage name Chip, is a British Grime MC, rapper and songwriter from Tottenham, North London. He scored a hit with Esmée Denters, "Until You Were Gone", and has collaborated with N-Dubz and many others. In 2009, he released his debut album, I Am Chipmunk, featuring four songs which peaked in the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart, including the chart-topping "Oopsy Daisy". In 2011, Chipmunk released his follow-up album, the American hip hop-influenced Transition. It included the single "Champion" featuring Chris Brown, which peaked at #2 on the UK Singles Chart.


5. Wretch 32


Wretch 32

  • Net worth: $3 million
  • Born: 9 March 1985
  • Years active: 2006–present
  • Labels: Ministry of Sound, Polydor
  • Instagram: @officialwretch32

Wretch 32 had three top-five charting songs from debut album Black and White and amassed over a million record sales, including the single "Don't Go" which peaked at number-one on the UK Singles Chart. In 2012 he was employed by both Adidas and Coca-Cola as one of the main faces of their London 2012 Olympics campaigns and on 1 July 2012, he won 'Best International Act' at the 2012 BET Awards.


6. Roots Manuva


Roots Manuva

  • Net worth: $5 Million
  • Born: 8 September 1972
  • Years active: 1994–present
  • Labels: Big Dada, Banana Klan

Rodney Hylton Smith, better known by his stage name Roots Manuva  is an English rapper and producer. Since his debut in 1994, he has produced numerous albums and singles on the label Big Dada, achieving commercial success with albums Run Come Save Me and Slime & Reason. He has been described as "one of the most influential artists in British music history." His most recent studio album, Bleeds, was released in October 2015.


7. Ghetts


Ghetts

  • Net worth: $5 Million
  • Born: 9 October 1984
  • Years active: 2003–present
  • Labels: GIIG, Disrup
  • Instagram: @therealghetts

Justin Clarke, better known by his stage name Ghetts (formerly Ghetto) is a British grime MC, rapper and songwriter from Plaistow, London with Caribbean roots from Jamaica and Grenada. His music has been played on national radio stations such as BBC Radio 1, Kiss 100, BBC Asian Network and BBC Radio 1Xtra. Currently, Ghetts is signed to independent record label Disrupt, and released his debut studio album, Rebel with a Cause, on 9 March 2014. Known for his hard hitting lyrics and intricate rhyme schemes, he is associated and has toured internationally with such acts as Kano and was a member of NASTY Crew.


8. Tinchy Stryder


Tinchy Stryder

  • Net worth: $4 million
  • Born: 14 September 1986
  • Occupation: Rapper, singer, Song writer, entrepreneur, investor
  • Years active: 1997–present
  • Instagram: @tinchystryder

Stryder's recordings date back to 1998. He appeared in 2000 on pirate radio along with Dizzee Rascal and Wiley, and was part of grime collective and record production team Ruff Sqwad from 2001. His pseudonym Tinchy Stryder derives from Strider and from the nickname given to him "Tinchy": his height at 5 ft 3 in (1.60 m).

In 2002, the grime group Roll Deep was founded by Wiley, and included Stryder and Dizzee Rascal. They were making music that was a derivative of garage. For a while, there was not even a name for it. The name "grime" was the one that stuck. While performing with Roll Deep, Stryder performed some songs including "U Were Always" in 2002, which was released years later on Roll Deep's compilation album Street Anthems in 2009. He also performed on Roll Deep's 2004 mixtape, Creeper Vol. 2.


9. Professor Green


Professor Green

  • Net worth: $5 Million
  • Born: 27 November 1983
  • Years active: 2005–present
  • Labels: Virgin, Relentless, Gang Green
  • Instagram: @professorgreen

Growing up on a council estate in East London, Green went on to become a multi-platinum artist, with 3.5 million combined sales in the UK. He is the co-host of Lip Sync Battle UK on Channel 5. His autobiography featured on the Times bestseller list and he is the patron of the suicide prevention charity Calm.


10. 21 Savage


21 Savage

  • Net worth: $21 million
  • Born: October 22, 1992
  • Years active: 2014–present
  • Labels: Epic
  • Instagram: @21savage

His debut studio album, Issa Album, was released on July 7, 2017. It debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and gave him his first Billboard Hot 100 top 20 song, "Bank Account". His first number one single came at the end of 2017 with his feature on Post Malone's "Rockstar", which was nominated in two categories at the 61st Grammy Awards. On October 31, 2017, he released the Offset and Metro Boomin collaboration Without Warning. In December 2018, he released his second album, I Am > I Was, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and stayed at number one for two consecutive weeks.

21 Savage won the award for Best Rap Song for his song "A Lot" at the 2020 Grammy Awards, marking both 21 Savage and J. Cole's first Grammy wins.


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