It’s come to no surprise the evident growth of Rap and Hip-Hop within the UK over the last few years. Reaching its peak last year, the continuous momentum of some of our best British artists are now becoming house-hold names and frequent chart toppers.
Earlier this week, BPI released an article highlighting the growth of British Rap and Hip-Hop artists stating that “Most remarkable is that in the five years from 2015 to 2019, UK artists’ share of Rap’s sales and streams increased from 10.0% to 26.9% on albums and from 15.5% to 42.2% on singles“. With this in mind, we are going to take a further look at which rappers have charted in 2020 so far – both singles and albums!
Disclaimer: The data and figures shown are taken from the Official Charts from the period in which they were released.
The Official Top 40 Charts have released the biggest albums to have been released in 2020 so far – including a few names you may recognise…
At the start of the year, Stormzy released his highly awaited sophomore album Heavy Is The Head. Scoring the No.1 spot in the charts, Heavy Is The Head is the second biggest album this year selling over 129k copies (218k in total) – insane right?!
Swooping in as the seventh biggest album to come so far this year, is of course the nations favourite J Hus, with his highly awaited album Big Conspiracy which topped the charts at No.1. M Huncho also returned this year with his recent project Huncholini The 1st which peaked at No.5 in the charts placing him at 21. D Block Europe also appeared in the list with 2019’s Street Trauma which scored a Top 10 position in the charts in January placing them at number 26 alongside Dave’s No.1 and Mercury Prize winning album Psychodrama which resurfaced leaving him placed at 31.
Now let’s take a look at some of the top singles to have charted this year…
The top selling single this year so far is Play Play from J Hus’s album Big Conspiracy which featured Burna Boy – selling a whopping 192,580 copies alone! Followed shortly after with Aitch and DigDat’s collaborative banger Eight Mile.
Two artists who’s growth hasn’t gone unknown is BandoKay and Double Lz – now standing as two of the best to emerge from the new gen of rappers. The pair have released several explosive tracks this year that have sent them flying to the charts with tracks like OT Boppin at 91, War featuring Manchester’s Mastermind at 39 and Majic with production duo iLL BLU at 46. OFB released their fierce and highly anticipated mixtape Frontstreet later last year which saw them entering the charts at 38 – there’s really no stopping them! Whispers have been circulating that BandoKay is soon to be dropping one of the hottest singles of 2020…so keep your eyes peeled!
We can’t go without mentioning AJ Tracey and Aitch’s song Rain, which topped the charts at No.3 soon after its release. Teaming up with boast-worthy US hitmaker Tay Keith, the pair haven’t left the charts since and is the third biggest single this year! The fourth biggest single may come as a bombshell…Stormzy’s diss track Still Disappointed – the track that got the nations jaws dropping!
Skepta, Chip and Young Adz dropped their fiery joint album Insomnia which took the nation by surprise. Successfully fusing all their signature sounds into one, Waze, Mains and Demons slipped into the charts and peaked at 18, 32 and 47.
Young T and Bugsey’s now viral hit Don’t Rush re-entered the charts following the success of the Don’t Rush Challenge which soon found them charting in the US – amazing right?! M24 and Tion Wayne linked up earlier on the year for their explosive drill track London. Both known for their gruff tones and infectious tracks, London saw the pair winning a spot in the charts at No.32.
Newcomer PA Salieu dropped his energy-driven hit single Frontline back in…., which found the rising rapper from Coventry secure a place in the charts. The Wolverhampton native S-X also made the charts with his track Neither Would I alongside Dapz with his melodic joint Canada.
The production duo DaBeatzfreakz teamed up with Krept, Konan, Deno and D Block Europe for their collaborative banger Self Obsessed which peaked at 26. Earlier this month, Headie One dropped his joint project with producer Fred Again… which ultimately saw the pair experimenting with sound. Two tracks in particular; Gang and Charades burst onto the charts, making waves in the scene.
To think that is only the first quarter of 2020 and we already have so many of our rappers topping the charts is incredible, given our current situation I think it’s safe to say that 2020 is looking like the year of the takeover!