UK: One’s To Watch 2021

Mixtape Madness

By Mixtape Madness

Mixtape Madness

18 Dec 2020

It is safe to say, over the last few years, the British Rap scene has taken to newer heights; from several No.1 albums to Drill-charting songs, there is a constant stream of new and emerging artists that each year, take not only the industry by storm, but also the nation! Looking through some of 2020’s ascending stars, we have complied a list (in no particular order) of artists and rappers we feel are going to make huge waves in 2021!

Scribz Riley

Hailing from East London, 26-year-old Scribz Riley, known for being an acclaimed award-winning producer and working along-side heavy weight hit-makers including the likes of Cardi B, H.E.R, J Hus and more, emerged earlier this year as an artist in his own right. Surfacing from the shadows, Scribz Riley instantly paved a lane of his own, infusing R&B in with Rap to create a refreshing and contemporary sound that turned the heads of many world-wide. Journeying back to April, the rising star dropped the cinematic visuals to his debut single ‘East Side’, little did he know this would be a global success! Enriched with his un-blemished and glossy vocals, Scribz Riley bought a revitalized and needed sound to British R&B. Later joining forces with one of the UK Rap’s biggest names, Headie One, on ‘Impress Me’, the 26-year-old recently followed through with the ambient and island sounds of ‘Mandy’. Returning to his Nigerian roots, ‘Mandy’ is harnessed with an Afrobeat-production, coated with an R&B melody – serving as the ultimate nonchalant summer anthem. Rounding off the year with his highly anticipated debut EP titled, ‘Wish Me Luck’ alongside 6LACK, Kaash Paige, Headie One, KWN and JADA – Scribz Riley has undoubtedly solidified himself as an artist to watch this coming 2021. – Elle Evans

Central Cee

Out of everyone on the list Central Cee has released the least music this year, and yet, the West Londoner has arguably made the most impact. Despite the big boom in his visibility, views, streams and support – all courtesy of the new and improved sound he has showcased in hit singles Day In The Life and Molly. Central has been testing the waters musically since he graced the scene back in 2015. Now, seemingly secure in a fresh and infectious, sonic identity. Which paints him as a cool and charmastic hustler, who isn’t afraid to say it how it is, people are hooked (no pun intended.) I mean who can blame us, from his ability to pinpoint a raw and unique brand of rap to of course timing – a factor the rapper often puts his new found success down to. Will surely see him following in the footsteps of heavyweight rappers, such as; Nines, Fredo, Potter Payper, Asco and more! – Rehana Harmony

Keeya Keys

Born and raised in North London, Keeya Keys, who is originally known as Keys Hecate, over the last few months has proved himself as an artist to watch in 2021. Having released a slew of successful singles this year, not to mention two ear-grabbing freestyles, the ascending rapper turned the heads of many with his infectious and viral hit ‘RUUD’. Trading the football pitch for the booth, Keeya Keys made a strikingly bold entrance to the British Rap game; boasting his impeccable wordsmith and punchlines, and intertwining them with his fire-flows over a variety of energy-driven riddims – Keeya Keys has generated a new and refreshing breed of feel-good tracks that has taken to the masses! Sustaining the hype around his name, the emcee followed through with his ‘T90 Freestyle’, paying attention to detail from start to finish, you can tell Keeya Keys has studied music thoroughly from many notable names that carried the torch before him. Offloading his anthemic single ‘BEBEY’, which in his own words he claims as “the anthem that the summer needed but never got”, he recently followed through with ‘Anglo Saxon’. Clocking in at just over 3 minutes long, this is yet another stand-out offering that only solidifies why Keeya Keys is an artist to watch in 2021. – Elle Evans


After the release of BERWYN’s debut EP entitled “DEMOTAPE/VEGA” there should be no debates as to the power that this Trinidadian-born and Romford-raised rapper’s pen welds. Using it like a wizard would a wand, he lyrically casts a spell with his cathartic, candid and at times heart wrenching wordsmith. That he uses to ruminate on themes of struggle, hustle, hope and mental health. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that renowned DJ and tastemaker – Tiffany Calver had been singing his praises at the start of the year (when he only had one song out at the time – impressive huh?) – Rehana Harmony


Born in Germany and raised in London, Odeal has been making some major waves within British Rap as of lately! Championing his Nigerian descent, the rising star is known for his rich and uplifting contemporary fusion of Afrobeats. Launching onto the scene back in 2017 with his debut single ‘Need A Girl’, it’s been nothing, but an up-hill climb for the promising musician since. Catching the eyes of established British rapper Abra Cadabra earlier this year, you may recognise Odeal from ‘On & On’, a smooth and butter-like joint that arrived just in time for Valentine’s Day. Housing his signature infectious hooks, he graces supporters with a feel-good and romantic energy that is bound to make you move! If you’ve listened to Nines’ No.1 album ‘Crabs In A Bucket’, you will have undoubtedly heard Odeal on ‘Ringaling’ alongside Headie One and Nines; accommodating a rhythmic and bouncing flow over a piano-led instrumental, Odeal solidifies his position within British Rap with this energy-driven bop! More recently, he returned with his latest prodigious project titled, ‘OVMBR: Roses’, an 8-track project that showcased his artistry, not only as a musician but as a producer as well! Maneuvering through the glossy and culturally-enriched body of work, the rising star weaves in between the vibrant, silky and voluptuous sounds of Nigeria – Odeal is undoubtedly an artist to watch this 2021. – Elle Evans

French The Kid

At a time where bridges between territories are being built and the norms placed upon genres are often merged, stretched and manipulated; finding a truly authentic talent that sounds completely unlike their comrades is a rare occurrence. Yet this is the case for Essex-hailing rapper, French The Kid, who has refined a sound that flows fluidly from an ear-catching mix of English and French melodics – the latter, a language he acquired while growing up in the South-West of France. To introspective bars that anticipate the bright future ahead, detail the trials and tribulations of his past, spotlights mental health and the gritty endeavours of a Romford boy. Since debuting his first track “Bella Latina” last October, each release there after have quickly become fan-favorite‘s resulting in the star amassing close to 5 million streams on Spotify alone. – Rehana Harmony


Known for his unapologetic and straight-talking approach, Teeway has proven to be one of the UK’s most exciting and fresh Drill talents to arise. Hailing from Norwood, South London, the ascending rapper first burst onto the scene in 2018 and has since gained millions of views across all platforms. With a variety of boast-worthy tracks behind him including ‘Anglo Saxon’, ‘Statements’, ‘Year Of The Real’ alongside Pa Salieu, M1llionz and Meekz as well as ‘Private Ryan’ and more recently with ‘Dinner Time’, Teeway enforced a well-needed and revitalising breath of fresh air into the raw, gritty and skittering sound of Drill as we know it. Accommodating a haunting and eerie backdrop, ‘Dinner Time’ see’s the London native wasting no time in attacking the beat with a seamless and head-bopping flow, keeping you captivated throughout, Teeway has been able to sustain the quality of his bars from the very beginning of his career, and proves so in this track. Drawing in the masses with his impressive wordsmith; from the dynamic punchlines and metaphors to the vigorous flows and all-round assertive delivery, Teeway has proved his artistry time and time again. With more heat pending, Teeway is without a doubt an artist to watch in 2021.  – Elle Evans


A year after being branded “criminally underrated” by veteran and major tastemaker – Kenny Allstar. The tables have truly turned for Clavish, calling North London home, the young talent has already had quite the year. Carving a clear path for himself musically, the rapper is known for making records that reflect the inner-city youth of London, more specifically heard in his lyrics which surface a variety of lived-in subject matters; from money and hustling to street politics and patriarchy. However, it is the naturally nonchalant finish applied to every word he spits that has seen him generate an ever-growing cult of listeners, who are ready to pounce at every drop! His highlights of the year include a slew of exemplary tracks, such as; Could’ve100mph Freestyle X2, No Cap and Amiri Balmain. An appearance on Nine’s chart-topping studio album Crabs In A Bucket, where he raps alongside the likes of Frosty, Q2T and Chappo CSB on All Stars 2. In addition to his most recent Daily Duppy freestyle. So you can only imagine what’s in store for 2021… – Rehana Harmony


At just 17 years old, Teezandos has landed in the British Rap scene with an almighty bang! Based in Hackney, the London native was previously under a different alias named Tyler, before switching to the gruff, vigorous and hard-hitting Drill sound we are accustomed to from the ascending female force. Reppin’ for the ladies in Drill, Teezandos bounced back with her re-branded debut ‘Need Focus’ in 2019 on Mixtape Madness, which is currently sat at just over 800,000 views on YouTube alone. Capturing the eyes of many, with only a handful of tracks behind her, Teezandos has since delivered a ‘Mad About Bars’ freestyle and was introduced by Kenny Allstar as the future – he wasn’t lying! Alongside an impressive reel of gritty tracks including, ‘Slender’, ‘Phone Call’ featuring newcomer Fizzler as well as a ‘HB Freestyle’ and more recently with ‘Roxtar’! Putting her indisputable pen game to the test, supporters are drawn to her unapologetic, point-blanc and no-nonsense approach; showered over an array of eerie and haunting Drill backdrops, Teezandos’ forceful flows add that extra punch to the already hard-hitting cuts. Teezandos may still be at the very early stages of what’s looking like a prosperous career ahead, but she has undoubtedly solidified herself as an artist to watch this 2021. – Elle Evans


The fast rise of Irish rap, in fact non-capital rap, is a byproduct of a generation who has done away with accent biases and is warming to the talents that lie outside of London’s inner-city bubble. And, such is the case for the frontman of Ireland’s drill collective, A92, Offica. With features from Blanco, KSI and Fizzler, oh and a major face reveal paired with an actual song to mark the occasion. In addition to two muscular freestyles for Kenny Allstar’s Mad About Bars and Charlie Sloth’s Fire In The Booth. All accomplished in just over a year, might I add. The future for this Irishman is bright, thanks to the hard-hitting brand of drill has cultivated through a refreshing blend of Irish and Yoruba slang that exhibit’s both his culture and ethnicity. – Rehana Harmony


Hailing from London, more specifically, the E8 and E9 postcodes, are the fast- rising collective of prolific solo artists including V9, KO, Jimmy, Billy Billions, DA, Stally, AlChubbino, Unknown T and Hitman. In combining their signature talents into one, the 98s have quickly proven themselves to be one of Drill’s most exciting acts. Having all built a reputable spot within British Rap, the group stepped onto the scene earlier this year with both ‘Homerton2Holly’ and ‘Taco’, and caught the attention of many across the nation with their unapologetic and raw approach. Swiftly following through with their debut project titled, ‘Class of 98s’, clocking in at just under an hour and consisting of 15 tracks filled from start to finish with straight greaze, street poetics and skittering backdrops, this body of work showcased their charismatic personalities and in turn became a fan-favourite for the Drill-lovers this 2020. Keeping the heat around their name strong, the Homerton and Holly street boys took to Fumez The Engineer’s infamous ‘Plugged In’ session and only certified why they are becoming one of the most popular acts in Drill. In boasting their dexterous flows, hard-hitting wordsmith and all-round artistry, although the 98s are still at the very beginning of their career, they have started what is looking to be a long-lived career ahead. – Elle Evans


South East London rapper, Fizzler, has cultivated a loyal fan base who have grown incredibly fond of his diverse, drill-blending sonic that puts the gritty underbelly of UK inner cities under a rose tinted lens. Despite the obvious adversity that 2020 has delivered, Fizz has relentlessly managed to drop off a host of singles. That hear him joining forces with some of the scenes rising stars; such as Teezandos on “Phone Call”, LZee’s “Brownies”, Kwengface on “Algebra” and C.S and V9 with “Violent”. Each one housing poetic, deftly constructed word play atop of twinkling, infectiously groove-driven drill backdrops. That the rapper has branded as saucy drill. Not to forget unleashing two widely-acclaimed freestyles, for Mad About Bars – that saw him gain a coveted co-sign from the one and only, Kenny Allstar. In addition spinning his moment on Fumez The Engineer’s Plugged In session. Leaving us eager to witness the greatness to come in 2021! – Rehana Harmony