Like it or not, grime has become the genre of the moment and is currently looking destineD for success, in the mainstream and internationally. From Stormzy’s ‘Shut Up’ freestyle reaching #9 in the official Christmas top 10 (a record for a track of its kind), to rap superstar Drake ‘signing’ to JME and Skepta’s Label, Boy Better Know (BBK), it is hard for any music fan to overlook the recent impact the scene has made on the music industry. This increase in popularity has led to a rise in grime scene ‘freshers’ trying to leave their mark and join grime’s OGs at the top of the scene. Many have shown solid potential but a select few have shown that they could have what it takes to be top achievers and we’ve complied a 10-man list of those who shows the skills and capabilities to graduate with first class honours from the grime university.
To kick off our Freshers list, is West London’s grittiest and the man of the moment, AJ Tracey. Dare anyone to try miss the drop like AJT! Truly one of the most exciting prospects to come out the scene in a long while, AJ displays flow after flow accompanied by tough, ruthless bars. His ‘Alex Moran EP’ was honestly one of the best grime releases of last year and after AJ has shelled down set after set, it seems like he is only going to get better in 2016.
Key Tracks: Naila, Spirit Bomb, Bare Girls Ft. Jammz
For our second pick, we are going back to the home of grime, East London, where you can find MC/producer/DJ Jammz. Jammz embodies what a grime artist was and should still be; an artist that will go to any and every radio station across London and shut down every set. Looking like one of the hardest workers in grime, it seems as though there is a lot to look forward to from the East MC in 2016 – and with the release of the unforgiving ‘Warrior’, he shows no signs of slowing down.
Key Tracks: Warrior, Merky Lemon, London Living, Hit Then Run
See a man get LIFFF! Capo Lee is just down right disrespectful on riddims, sounding fearless and ready to take on the entire scene. Lee sounds ready for a war on pretty much every track and is definitely leaning towards the darker, gritty sounds of grime. The 2015 release of ‘Liff’, also shows his ability to make anthems. Fans of angry, aggressive grime look no further than Mr. Lee.
Key Tracks: LIff, Mud Ft. D Double E, Funeral Parlour
Another one of East London’s new boys who’s been showering down sets up and down the capital, is Mic Ty. He is another ruthless MC; apparent from the first line of the Plastician-Produced ‘Knewham’: “First things First, I’m Ty, not Tyrone and I’m Here to fuck Your wife”. This charming opening line to the grime banger is followed by Ty’s charisma and energy, which serves as a reminder of why so many people fell in love with the genre in the first place. The East London native is 100% one to watch.
Key Tracks: Knewham, Shelling this Year Ft. Big Zuu
Now, to be honest, Koder isn’t really a ‘fresher’ as he has been active for a few years with two mixtapes and an EP already under his belt. However, Koder has been underappreciated and with the release of the spacey, Skepta-sampling ‘Zone Again’ it looks like the Brockley MC may start finally getting the attention he deserves. More lyrical than most, Koder is someone that any grime or rap fan should be keeping tabs on, as there’s a high chance he could be dropping more heat this year.
Key Tracks: Zone Again, Christmas on my own, One Take (freestyle)
Much more than Wiley’s younger brother, Cadell is one of the rawest spitters to emerge from the grime scene in the last couple years. Cadell has caught the attention of many grime fans from the ‘Hotline’ war dub, where he sends for a range of heavy hitters in the scene, to repping hard for grime’s birthplace, Bow E3. We can only hope that Cadell keeps this ruthless approach towards his music and brings it forward to 2016.
Key Tracks: 17, Hotline
The Self-proclaimed Golden Boy A.K.A. Elf Kid brings the energy and fun that made grime light up raves up and down the country. Hailing from Lewisham, the home grime legends such as the OGz, Elf Kid came up with grime group ‘The Square’ and, stood out as the most talented member not named Novelist. Showering down set after set it was only a matter of time before he made a banger and this came with the energetic, Amerie Sampling ‘Golden Boy’, which is still on rotation at many radio stations in the UK and a remix of Jamie XX’s ‘Gosh’. We are confident that he will go from strength to strength in 2016 and find his place in the grime scene.
Key Track: Golden Boy, Oh Gosh (Boylan Remix)
Croydon had an amazing 2015, with the likes of Stormzy, Section Boyz, Krept & Konan and Bonkaz all making huge movements in the music scene; from winning Mobos to gaining co-signs from some of the biggest artists in the world. However, a lesser known Croydon artist in the form of Hardy Caprio has been making quality grime over the last few months. Staying very true to the genre, his skippy flows over melodic grime productions, laced with hood stories and some deep messages, have made him an SBTV favourite as well as someone any grime fan should keep their eye on.
Key Tracks: Soundbwoy 2, Love Song, Jezebel
Hailing out of Coventry (via West London) Jevon is someone that deserves a lot more attention than he has been getting. The KA #GetRated winner, obviously puts a lot of thought and care into his craft and his flow is as tight as anyone’s. The start of this year saw him release his impressive project ‘Dark is the new Black’ which showed off his versatility as an artist and hopefully it is only matter of time until people wake up to this guy’s talent.
Key Tracks: Like Me, Boy in the Corner, Black Magic, Dark Matter
Novelist has been bubbling as the new prophet the grime scene for about a year or so now, after co-signs from some of the biggest artists in the game, i.e Skepta and Wiley, and with good reason. Novelist is grime to the core and a perfect representation of where, how and why grime began. Straight out of Brockley, Novelist’s one line flows and dedication to the grime sound has caught the attention of many. And, at the tender age of 19, he still has miles to go on his grime journey. Still yet to release a full project, grime fans will have their fingers cross that 2016 is the year he drops his first. And we can only hope it lives up to expectations.
Key Tracks: Endz, One sec, War