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The Best British Rappers of All Time

Updated May 7, 2021 64.3k votes 10.7k voters 348.7k views63 items

List RulesFamous hip hop artists hailing from the UK

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?

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    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, North...  more
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    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 along...  more
  • 3
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    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 "P's and...  more
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    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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    Dave

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    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 a...  more
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    Stormzy

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    Michael Ebenazer Kwadjo Omari Owuo, Jr., better known by his stage name Stormzy, is an English grime and hip hop artist. ...  more
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    AJ Tracey

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    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 2016, and was...  more
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    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
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    Giggs

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    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
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    Bugzy Malone

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    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
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    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 London....  more
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    Aitch

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    21 Savage

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    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 Free...  more
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    Wretch 32

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    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
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    D Double E appeared in the 2010 film Shank....  more
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    slowthai

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    Tyron Kaymone Frampton (born 18 December 1994), better known by his stage name slowthai (stylised in lowercase), is a British rapper from Northampton. He rose to popularity in 2019 for his...  more
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    Chipmunk

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    Jahmaal Noel Fyffe (born 26 November 1990), better known by his stage name Chip (previously known as Chipmunk), is an English rapper from Tottenham, North London. He Scored a Hit With Esmee Denters...  more
  • 18
    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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    Little Simz

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    Simbiatu "Simbi" Abisola Abiola Ajikawo (born February 23, 1994), better known by her stage name Little Simz, is an English rapper, singer and actress. Following the release of four mixtapes and...  more
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    Akala

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    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 Kentish...  more
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    Peter Wadams, better known by his stage name P-Money, is a New Zealand hip-hop DJ and producer. His notable work includes the hit song "Everything" featuring New Zealand R&B singer Vince Harder,...  more
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    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 Island...  more
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    Michael Geoffrey Skinner (born 27 November 1978) is an English rapper, songwriter, musician, and record producer best known for the music project The Streets....  more
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    Ocean Wisdom

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    Ocean Alexander Alouwishas Wisdom (born 17 May 1993) , known professionally as Ocean Wisdom, is an English rapper from Camden Town, London. His largest claim to fame is his debut single "Walkin'", in...  more
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    Slick Rick

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    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 Back...  more
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List Rules: Famous hip hop artists hailing from the UK