Music

The Best British Rappers of All Time 

Ranker Hip Hop
Originally by
Updated March 26, 2020 44.4k votes 6.8k voters 225.6k views 58 items

List Rules Famous hip hop artists hailing from the UK

Are you off your trolley for British Hip Hop? Barmy! Because this is a list of the best British rappers that emerged from the 1970s to the 2000s, with subgenres ranging from British Grime, British Trip Hop, Brithop, and Gangsta Rap. 

British rap is just British rap artists rapping lyrics over mixed and scratched beats, but a distinct culture and attitude come from this particular music genre. In the UK, this style arose from two distinctly different areas – the U.S. hip hop scene of the late 70s/early 80s, and “dub/toasting,” which was introduced to the UK by Jamaican immigrants as early as the 1960s.  

Despite its controversial entrance into the british music scene, 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?

list ordered by
1
Skepta is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best British Rappers of All Time
Joseph Junior Adenuga Jr. (born 19 September 1982), better known by his stage name Skepta, is a British grime MC, rapper, songwriter, record producer and music video director from Tottenham, ...more
2
JME is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best British Rappers of All Time
Jamie Adenuga, better known by his stage name JME, is an English grime artist. He is the co-founder of the crew and label Boy Better Know. Adenuga was previously part of the grime crew Meridian ...more
3
Dizzee Rascal is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best British Rappers of All Time
Dylan Kwabena Mills (born 18 September 1984), better known by his stage name Dizzee Rascal, is a British rapper, recording artist and record producer. A pioneer of grime music, his work has also ...more

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#383 of 498 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time #158 of 183 The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band The Best Dizzee Rascal Songs

4
Kano is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best British Rappers of All Time
Kane Robinson (born 21 May 1985), better known as Kano, is a British rapper and actor from East Ham, London. He is a significant contributor to grime. In 2004, Kano released his debut single ...more
5
Wiley is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best British Rappers of All Time
Richard Kylea Cowie Jr, (born 19 January 1979 in London), better known by his stage name Wiley and in his early career Wiley Kat, is a British MC, rapper and record producer from Bow, East ...more

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#336 of 498 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time #142 of 183 The Best Solo Artists Who Used to Front a Band #3 of 191 The Best Grime Bands/Artists

6
Tinie Tempah is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best British Rappers of All Time
Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu (born 7 November 1988), better known by his stage name Tinie Tempah, is a British rapper, singer, songwriter and entrepreneur. He has been signed to Parlophone Records ...more

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#2,167 of 2,175 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #435 of 464 The Best Current Pop Groups/Singers The Best Tinie Tempah Albums, Ranked

7
Stormzy is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best British Rappers of All Time
johnstonismyname added
Michael Ebenazer Kwadjo Omari Owuo, Jr., better known by his stage name Stormzy, is an English grime and hip hop artist.

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#76 of 144 The Best Young Rappers and New School Rappers #5 of 191 The Best Grime Bands/Artists

8
Dave is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best British Rappers of All Time
OC99 added
David Orobosa Omoregie (born 5 June 1998), known mononymously as Dave, is a British rapper. Dave released his debut EP Six Paths in 2016, to critical and commercial success, after the release of ...more
9
Lethal Bizzle is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best British Rappers of All Time
Maxwell Owusu Ansah (born 14 September 1984), known by his stage name Lethal Bizzle, is a British rapper and actor from Walthamstow, London, of Ghanaian heritage. He emerged in 2002 as a grime ...more
10
Devlin is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best British Rappers of All Time
James Devlin (born 7 May 1989), better known mononymously as Devlin, is an English rapper from Dagenham, East London. He attended the Brittons Academy in Rainham, East London. He was signed to ...more
11
AJ Tracey is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best British Rappers of All Time
johnstonismyname added
Ché Wolton Grant, better known professionally as AJ Tracey, is a British rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer, from Ladbroke Grove, West London. Tracey rose to popularity in ...more
12
Lady Leshurr is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best British Rappers of All Time
Melesha O'Garro, better known by her stage name Lady Leshurr, is a female rapper/singer and producer from Kingshurst, Solihull, Birmingham, England. She is known for her work with Orbital, ...more

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#27 of 294 The Greatest Women Rappers of All Time #28 of 191 The Best Grime Bands/Artists

13
J Hus is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best British Rappers of All Time
Momodou Lamin Jallow (born 26 May 1996), better known professionally as J Hus, is a British rapper, singer, songwriter and model. He is currently signed to Black Butter Records. J Hus has been ...more
14
D Double E is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best British Rappers of All Time
D Double E appeared in the 2010 film Shank.
15
M.I.A. is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best British Rappers of All Time
Mathangi Arulpragasam (born 18 July 1975), better known as M.I.A., is an English rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, visual artist, and activist. Her stage name is wordplay on her name ...more

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16
Giggs is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best British Rappers of All Time
johnstonismyname added
Nathaniel Thompson (born 11 May 1983), better known professionally as Giggs, is an English rapper from Peckham, South East London. He released his debut studio album Walk in da Park in 2008 and ...more
17
Akala is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best British Rappers of All Time
Aous Abdul Aziz added
Kingslee James McLean Daley (born 1 December 1983), better known by the stage name Akala, is a British rapper, journalist, author, activist, poet and political activist. He is originally from ...more
18
21 Savage is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best British Rappers of All Time
WarrenParker added
Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph (born October 22, 1992), known professionally as 21 Savage, is an American rapper known for his mixtapes The Slaughter Tape (2015) and Slaughter King (2015) and his EPs ...more

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#580 of 1,038 The Worst Bands & Musicians of All Time #13 of 53 The Best New Male Artists The Best Songs Ft. 21 Savage

19
Professor Green is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best British Rappers of All Time
Stephen Paul Manderson (born 27 November 1983), better known by his stage name Professor Green or simply Pro Green, is an English rapper, singer, songwriter, actor and television personality ...more
20
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johnstonismyname added
Aaron Davis (born 20 December 1990), better known by his stage name Bugzy Malone, is a British rapper and actor, from Manchester, England. Malone has been described as one of the key artists ...more
21
Mike Skinner is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best British Rappers of All Time
Michael Geoffrey Skinner (born 27 November 1978) is an English rapper, songwriter, musician, and record producer best known for the music project The Streets.
22
Wretch 32 is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best British Rappers of All Time
johnstonismyname added
Jermaine Scott Sinclair (born 9 March 1985), better known by his stage name Wretch 32, is an English recording artist from Tottenham, North London. He was a member of the grime collective ...more
23
Slick Rick is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best British Rappers of All Time
seanrza08 added
Richard Martin Lloyd Walters (born January 14, 1965), better known as Slick Rick is a British-American rapper. He has released four albums: The Great Adventures of Slick Rick (1988), The Ruler's ...more

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#54 of 498 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time #44 of 138 The Dopest Rappers of the '90s The Best Slick Rick Songs

24
Tempa T is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best British Rappers of All Time
jackslee2 added
Nicky Nyarko-Dei, known by his stage name Tempa T is a British Grime MC originating from East London. He is well known for his 2009 single "Next Hype" which is considered an anthem of ...more

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#487 of 508 The Greatest Rappers Of All Time #102 of 191 The Best Grime Bands/Artists

25
Roots Manuva is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best British Rappers of All Time
Rodney Hylton Smith, better known by his stage name Roots Manuva (born 9 September 1972), is an English rapper and producer. Since his debut in 1994, he has produced numerous albums and singles ...more

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