Like much of the soon-to-be-finally-over last decade, 2019 has been strongly mixed. Fortunately, the British music scene has had another booming year: J Hus was released from prison; Cashtastic (now simply Cashh) was finally allowed back into the UK after being deported to Jamaica; Skepta, Kano and James Blake all released albums that stand as some of the best work of their respective careers; slowthai delivered his explosive debut album, Nothing Great About Britain; and the artery-hardening treats didn’t stop there because the singles charts were even healthier.

Rap, Afrobeats, R&B and grime dominated both the underground and the mainstream with very little compromising. Fredo, Tory Lanez and Popcaan surprised us all with a Carnival-ready heater in the form of “2 Cups”. Meanwhile, UK driller Headie One (and producers Nastylgia and PJ Beats) transformed Ultra Nate’s 1997 club classic “Free” into a haunting street anthem, and Aitch made himself one of the most in-demand rappers of the year. And then there’s Ms Banks, hammering out more than her share of solo anthems while everyone from Tinashe and Nicki Minaj to Fifth Harmony and will.i.am were eagerly queuing up to work with her.

In 2019, the UK Singles Chart was flooded with homegrown talent. Everyone’s fave indie kid, Ed Sheeran, naturally dominated. Aitch and Stormzy had a fair number, too. Elsewhere, Dave, Wiley, D-Block Europe, NSG, J Hus, Mahalia, Jorja Smith, Tion Wayne, Stefflon Don and more filled the charts and left our American cousins struggling to get a look-in. But, here at Complex UK, chart positions don’t determine what’s hot and what’s not—the underground made a lot of noise this year as well.

So, with that being said, check out the songs we were bumping the most in 2019, below—and to read more or see the official videos just click through the links. The full playlist can be streamed on the flip.



30. Manga Saint Hilare — "Fear No One"

29. Br3nya — "Double Dutch"

28. Darkoo f/ One Acen — "Gangsta"

27. Naira Marley — "Opotoyi (Marlians)

26. James Blake f/ Travis Scott & Metro Boomin — "Mile High"

25. Skepta f/ Nafe Smallz — "Greaze Mode"

24. Blade Brown f/ Not3s — "Cash Train

23. Giggs — "Baby"

22. Morrisson — "Shots"

21. Fredo x Tory Lanez x Popcaan — "2 Cups

20. Ms Banks f/ Kida Kudz — "Snack"

19. Slowthai f/ Skepta — "Inglorious"

18. P Money f/ Giggs — "Where & When"  

17. Ghetts — "Listen

16. OFB — "Ambush"

15. Mahalia f/ Burna Boy — "Simmer"

14. Steel Banglez f/ MoStack & AJ Tracey — "Fashion Week"

13. Mist x Fredo — "So High"

12. Young T & Bugsey f/ Aitch — "Strike A Pose"

11. Dave f/ Burna Boy — "Location"

10. Stormzy — "Vossi Bop"

9. AJ Tracey — "Ladbroke Grove"

8. NSG — "OT Bop"

7. Digga D — "No Diet"

6. D-Block Europe — "Home P*ssy"

5. Krept & Konan f/ K-Trap & Headie One — "I Spy"

4. Kano f/ Ghetts & D Double E — "Class Of Deja"

3. Jorja Smith f/ Burna Boy — "Be Honest"

2. Headie One — "Both"

1. J Hus — "Must Be"


Revisit our best songs of 2018 here.

 

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