The alternative underground rap scene in the UK is a dark place with a bright future filled with countless talented artists, however there are artists who have built a solid following thanks to their dark aesthetics and creative visuals. It’s a scene that can make an outsider feel uncomfortable with its overuse of inverted crosses, occult references and drug culture. Having spent the past year working with artists within the scene, I’ve noticed a fair amount of these artists often use sombre lyrics and imagery for “shock factor”, we all know controversy sells and attracts attention. Attention = “clout”.
These kids won’t kill you, suck your blood and they don’t worship the devil. They’re musicians too, and they deserve to be given an opportunity to showcase their artistry. I’ve managed to compile an eclectic list of 10 exciting artists to look out for.
I’ve been working closely with the Camden-based artist — a versatile rapper with a bold presence, a razor sharp flow and dynamic lyricism. Effortlessly blending multiple genres into one, the 18 year-old is one of the most exciting up and coming rappers in the underground scene.
The 19 year-old Croydon-based rapper and producer used to play football for Crystal Palace before quitting to focus on music. Although he started off making electronic music, he’s finally found his sound — an energetic sound that blends drill, alternative hip-hop and emo rap.
The Well Runs Red
The Bristol-based artist can easily fit in the underground metal scene too, however his style of music is very similar to the likes of $uicideboy$ and Ghostemane — who all combine trap and metal sounds with hard hitting lyrics.
Although Fabian Secon has already amassed millions of streams across all streaming platforms, he’s still an emerging artist. The Brixton-based artist is one of the most versatile artists around, capable of infusing alternative R&B, trap, emo rap, and rock music.
You may have seen (and heard his voice) on Billie Eilish’s hit single “bury a friend”, the talented London-based rapper combines potent lyricism and a dark-but-chilled induced voice over murky productions.
House of Pharaohs
The London-based collective are arguably the most influential and trendsetters within the alternative underground rap scene in the UK. With a sound heavily-influenced by American hip-hop, HOP are still at the top of their game and continue to rise.
Lancey Foux will be the first UK artist to perform at Rolling Loud. The charismatic East London rapper is unlike any artist you’ve heard in the UK. Infusing a sound inspired by the likes of Playboi Carti mixed with Skepta, Foux has the potential to breakthrough the US market this year.
The enigmatic London-based artist made a name for himself on SoundCloud before signing a record deal towards the end of last year. With an almost ethereal-like rap-sung vocals over well-polished trap beats, A3 is a standout artist thanks to his very unique sound.
The Oxford-based artist possesses one of the most loyal fan base within the underground scene. Known for his heavy trap metal sound similar to the likes of Scarlxrd and PRJXJEK, the 18 year-old is next in line whenever one of those two artists fall off.
The eclectic group from Manchester are known for their infusion of indie and trap music. They recently signed to Black Butter and have been consistently releasing singles this year that have been place on official Spotify playlists. An exciting group to watch.
Honourable mention: Kxzari, Henny Seear, Robin Knightz, V.RI and more.