People that have been with us from our early beginnings will know that we’ve always been a publication that pushes quality UK Hip-Hop. We wrote an article back in December 2012 about the beginnings of what we saw as a new age in UK Hip-Hop, and what we thought 2013 could bring to the scene. We were shouting about a soulful trio called A Yellow Man (the now ever-popular Hawk House) and a determined Cambridge student branding a unique style of UK poetry (now a Cambridge graduate prepping his debut release on major label Island Records).
Move on to 2014 and things couldn’t be greater for the scene – probably the first year ever where UK Hip-Hop is overtaking Grime on the world stage, with artists like Little Simz and Hawk House cracking America and giving the genre a big boost of interest from around the world. And with that momentum, there’s been a hell of a lot of new music to keep up with. We’ve been meaning to collate some of our favourite tracks for some time now, so, in the same vain as previous lists we’ve made, here’s our Top Five: UK Hip-Hop Tracks of 2014 so far.
1. George The Poet – If The Shoe Fits ft. Mega (Part 1)
Released just yesterday, this is the first track off of his #ChickenAndEgg EP, with six minutes of pure originality and virtuoso modern-day story-telling. Getting tingles.
2. Frankie Stew & Harvey Gunn – Sometimes
Off the Brighton-based duo’s second album The Morning that dropped a few months back, this one’s a bit of a mind-blower.
3. Little Simz – The Hamptons
Probably taking the biggest leaps for UK Hip-Hop music right now is North London rapper Little Simz. She’s currently taking America by storm and has already been endorsed by Jay Z. You’ll understand why we picked this tune when the beat properly drops in around 30 seconds in.
4. Hawk House – My Mind Is The Weapon (Topic 1)
After releasing their 10-track EP A Handshake To The Brain earlier this year the whole world is pretty much lovin’ on these guys. Really looking forward to seeing what they’ve got up their sleeves next. This track is a fav of ours off a pretty amazing EP.
5. Ocean Wisdom – Walkin’
This is a new name to us. Also Brighton-based, and with one of the best flows we’ve really ever heard on a track (he even references and mimics the flow of Bristol’s Buggsy at 2:46 to prove his worth). Brand new fans right here.