2018 has been a wild ride of a year, to say the least, what’s made it bearable is the overwhelming abundance of talent and good music coming out of the U.K. It was no easy task and my brain did nearly explode on numerous occasions but I’ve managed to compile a list of the top ten releases this year according to yours truly. So, find out if your fav makes the list and you also might just stumble across a gem of an artist you didn’t know previously (I got you)
#10 IAMDDB – Flight Mode Vol.4
Kicking off our Top 10 list is none other than the 0161’s own IAMDBB. She gave us another solid project over the summer in Flight Mode Vol.4 where she was truly in her element. ‘Drippy’ and ‘Kurr£ncy’ stand-out by a mile, we’re definitely excited to see what her debut album will produce which hopefully 2019 will bring to us!
#9 Mahalia – Seasons
She’s without a doubt one of the best rising British talents and seems to be making more and more noise with every release. ‘Seasons’ reminds us of the ups and downs of relationships whilst showing us a glimpse of Mahalia’s rapidly growing potential and is filled with smooth and sultry vocals. Kojey Radical provides a banging feature on ‘One Night Only’ and ‘Honeymoon’ is the anthem of the EP.
#8 Barney Artist – Home Is Where The Art Is
Barney Artist put out some of the best music I’ve heard this year. His style is refreshing, blending Soul and old school Hip Hop vibes to create his own identity is what makes him stand out. Top UK talents such as Tom Misch and Jordan Rakei aid him on ‘Home Is Where The Art Is’. ‘Ilvu Too’ transitioning into ‘LOOK AT YOUR MAN NOW!’ manages to be some of the best storytelling I’ve heard with features from Emmavie and George The Poet respectively.
#7 808ink – When I’m About You’ll Know II
Mumblez Black Ink & 808Charmer are an elite duo and deserve respect for the countless amount of bops they produce together. The follow up to WIAYK might even be better than its predecessor. On ‘Blessed Up’ we hear a sample of Modjo’s ‘Lady (Hear Me Tonight) which I can say with no exaggeration is some of the best music I’ve ever heard. The album is filled with bangers top to bottom and is very deserving of its #7 spot.
#6 Amber Olivier – Self Titled EP
Amber Olivier is the songstress coming out of North London with a sound reminiscent of throwback R&B throughout the project. She’s backed by Sonder frontman Brent Faiyaz who had a hand in the production of the EP if that’s any indication of her talent. There’s a huge resurgence in R&B and in particular British R&B, Amber Olivier is definitely one to watch. ‘Can’t Trust’ ‘One Unread’ flaunt her delicate, elegant vocals. Remember the name.
#5 D-Block Europe x Yxng Bane – Any Minute Now
‘Gucci Mane’ dropped a little while back with some visuals then we were treated with a surprise drop of a complete mixtape of D-Block Europe & Bane. They teamed up to produce the best collab album of the year. The trap influenced tape saw Young Adz and Yxng Bane bring the best out of each other going back and forth with 10/10 chemistry. ‘Real Love’ and ‘Better Than Yours’ distinguish themselves however every track on the tape could receive a wheel up.
#4 Jay Prince – Cherish
East London’s Jay Prince delivered a sublime body of work in Cherish, he manages to effortlessly make everything sound soulful and mellow. Each track radiates a positive, feel-good vibe which is what Prince is best at. The EP has features from Roméo, Kojey Radical and lastly teams up with Mahalia again on ‘With U’ which is like a heart-felt ballad.
#3 Tom Misch – Geography
Tom Misch’s debut album was very highly anticipated for me and a lot of others I’m sure. He’d been steady releasing tapes and EP’s for a couple years building to the album and it was everything I’d hoped it would be! Geography allows Tom Misch to show some of his talents as a producer ‘Tick Tock’ as a vocalist ‘South Of The River’ ‘Movie. There were also some great features such as the highly rated GoldLink, a legendary Hip Hop group in De La Soul and longtime collaborator Loyle Carner.
#2 VB – Pour Some More 2
The most underrated artist on my list is North London’s VB. He followed up with a sequel to his ‘Pour Some More’ debut and I think it’s about time VB got the credit he deserved. The 9-track tape has no skips at all, he can rap real good, make a very catchy hook and his beat selection is on point. ‘Trap Comes 1st’ features a memorable sample of Rick Ross’ ‘Aston Martin Music’ and ‘Homecoming’ is a strong contender for my track of the year.
#1 Octavian – Spaceman
There was nobody else that could take the number 1 spot in my eyes. Octavian’s propulsion into the spotlight is nothing but deserved. He’s completely in a lane of his own and there’s no one you could possibly compare him too. ‘Spaceman’ consists of straight bangers ‘Sleep’ ‘Break That’ and then there are the more mellow tracks ‘Move Faster’ ‘Think Twice’. In his first full-length mixtape, Octavian showed why he’s got this hype around him and it’s hard to see the kid being anything other than a superstar.
SO, that concludes my top 10 projects coming straight out of the U.K! agree? disagree? let us know what you think!