I had a feeling Section Boyz would kill it this year. Their humorous hood tales have taken them literally from Croydon back-streets to the album charts, picking up a MOBO for Best Newcomer and winning fans in Skepta, Drake, and Rita Ora along the way. The six-man collective's second mixtape, Don't Panic, which dropped in September, helped them score their first Top 40 (36) and the fact they released it independently makes this success story all the more compelling. The work they've put in the last 12 months has been major, but what gassed us up the most was "Trapping Ain't Dead".
A track made specifically for Alwayz Recording's Concrete Jungle, it's the club anthem that just
kept keeps on giving. "Lock Arff" impacted hugely, too, and could've even been the one that tipped them over the edge. But this banger, produced by Nana Rogues, showed off each rapper more stylistically and sparked a who-had-the-best-verse debate amongst fans. Section Boyz are a big reason road rap is in the conversation again, and for that, they deserve all the praise in the world. —Joseph 'JP' Patterson