British rap is in an exciting place right now. Grime veterans like Dizzee Rascal, Skepta and Wiley are regularly releasing music while newer MCs like Stormzy, AJ Tracey, and Jammz are reaching more listeners than ever, both inside the country and abroad. The wave of more melodic, Afrobeats and dancehall- influenced music is vital too, with J Hus putting together one of 2017's best albums with Common Sense.
Raw rap that doesn't shy away from the harsh realities of street life is well accounted for too—Giggs is still going strong and Nines charted in the Top 10 with the unforgiving One Foot Out last year. Crews like Section Boyz and 67 have been winning over the past few years too, with their success a precursor to the currently exploding UK drill scene. Projects like the New Gen album help to make sense of some of the interweaving strands of contemporary British rap music, while the alternative, boundary pushing approaches of artists like Blue Daisy, 808ink, and Rocks FOE must be saluted.
This list isn't about those artists, though. Here are 20 artists, most of them newer to the game and still rising, who you should get in your listening rotation for 2018.