The Best British Rappers of All Time

Over 12.0K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best British Rappers of All Time
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Famous hip hop artists hailing from the UK
Latest additions: Skinnyman
Recently, KSI fell out of the top 25, replaced by Ms. Dynamite
Most divisive: Wiley

Update: Dive into the best new hip hop with our list of 2020's top rap songs.

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?

Ranked by
  • Dave
    3,267 votes

    Hailing from South London, this gifted lyricist and producer quickly soared to prominence with his introspective storytelling and smooth delivery, earning his spot among the UK's rap elite. Striking a balance between socially conscious themes and deeply personal narratives, he has demonstrated an uncanny ability to connect with listeners on an emotional level. His meteoric rise to fame has not only solidified his status in British pop culture, but has also made him one of the most important voices in contemporary UK hip-hop.

  • Stormzy
    4,470 votes

    This grime sensation from Croydon exploded onto the scene with a unique blend of raw energy, razor-sharp wordplay, and heartfelt honesty, asserting himself as a true force to be reckoned with in the UK rap landscape. His powerhouse performance style coupled with a commitment to elevating his community and addressing political issues has earned him critical acclaim and a dedicated fanbase. As a proud product of his British roots, he continues to break barriers and redefine the possibilities for UK hip-hop artists.

  • AJ Tracey

    AJ Tracey

    2,434 votes

    Hailing from West London, this dynamic emcee has seamlessly fused elements of grime, UK garage, and trap music to create a trademark sound that sets him apart from the pack. Known for his rapid-fire delivery and captivating stage presence, he has managed to captivate audiences across the globe while remaining true to his roots. Quickly becoming a mainstay in British pop culture, his rise to prominence is a testament to his undeniable skill and magnetic personality.

  • J Hus
    2,002 votes

    With a distinctive melodic flow and a knack for blending various musical influences from the UK and beyond, this East London talent has carved his own lane in the rap scene. Often weaving aspects of Afrobeat and dancehall into his music, he has developed a unique sound that resonates with fans both at home and internationally. His undeniable talent and fresh approach to the genre make him a standout figure in British hip-hop.

  • Skepta
    4,569 votes

    Regarded as a grime pioneer and a symbol of UK rap excellence, this Tottenham-born heavyweight has been pushing boundaries and defying expectations since he first emerged. Known for his relentless flow, unapologetic lyricism, and innovative production, he effortlessly commands attention and respect within the scene. As a genre-defining artist, his impact on British pop culture is immeasurable, and he continues to leave an indelible mark on the world of music.

  • Giggs
    1,873 votes

    With a deep, commanding voice and a style that blends elements of grime and UK drill, this South London rapper has become synonymous with British street music. His no-nonsense approach to storytelling and ability to inject humor into his lyrics make him a stand-out figure in the UK rap scene. A true icon in his own right, he has solidified his place in British pop culture and remains an enduring talent in the world of music.