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Best of the UK: May 2021

By M. Oliver on

Best of the UK is a monthly column highlighting the best new songs from the UK artists on Audiomack. Listen to and favorite our UK RAP and UK R&B playlists, which include these selections and more.

Blanco x Central Cee — “Great Escape

Silver-tongued Harlem Spartan Blanco united with UK drill’s man of the hour Central Cee for the bando hymn “The Great Escape.” Exchanging quid-pro-quo reflections on upward mobility, the first-time collaboration delivers fully in the fast-talking bars both London drillers are famed for.

NSG — “Colonization

NSG continued their unabating run of Afrobashment smashes with their new single, “Colonization.” Producer 4Play delivers a haunting orchestral backdrop for the East Londoners to threaten to colonize their opps, following up the celebratory “After OT Bop” with some more typically triumphant bars.

Jaykae — “Chop

Feeling like the guillotine-happy Henry VIII, Jaykae lays out some “bring to the block” opp talk on his latest release, “Chop.” Pairing up with producer Swifta Beater for an all-Brum alliance, the Birmingham barrer takes aim at fake friends, enemies, and emcees alike in a brooding grime effort.

Bugzy Malone — “Skeletons

Bugzy Malone revisits turf wars, prison, and the quad bike crash that almost ended his life to lay his “Skeletons” to rest. Bestowing cathartic confessions to a hulking Blinkie production, the Mancunian recounts his will to live in the face of deep-rooted trauma—”I'm looking at a couplе acres, three to be precisе / Used to have to use my sleeve to get the claret off my knife.

Jorja Smith — “Bussdown” feat. Shaybo

Jorja Smith satiated expectations for her sophomore album with an extended EP, Be Right Back, featuring the simmering “Bussdown '' alongside Shaybo. Posing her restrained quiver to an opulent, jazz imbued Afro-swing, the Walsall songstress counts the cost of fame while basking in the splendors of her success.

Meridian Dan, JME & President T — “Teachers Pets

Grime veteran Meridian Dan reunited with fellow Meridian Crew members JME and President T for his boisterous new single, “Teachers Pets.” Dan, who alongside JME and Skepta led the way for the genre’s second coming with 2014’s “German Whip,” marshals the shelling on the Sir Spyro riddim as the Tottenham trailblazers combine for a full-bodied grime throwback.

Offica — “Obito

Lagos-born, Drogheda driller Offica furthered his Naruto-themed offerings with his unsparing new single “Obito.” Titled after the character who inspired his distinctive orange mask, the A92 member slides over KidSpyral’s fiddle-driven riddim, issuing rap-along menaces to his opps.

Stay Flee Get Lizzy — “Meant to Be ” feat. Fredo & Central Cee

London production house Stay Flee Get Lizzy brought West Londoners Fredo and Central Cee together on a drill riddim for their latest single, “Meant to Be.” Fredo leads the charge with a surfeit of bellicose bars before Central Cee rounds off the 140bpm braggery with an adamant 16.

Ms. Banks — “Pull Up” feat. K-Trap

South London flexed its hold on the UK rap scene with the collab between Ms. Banks and K-Trap, “Pull Up.” Cadenza laces a heaving drill production for the Camberwell emcee to discharge slick ultimatums to sirens, ahead of a truculent verse from the Lambeth driller.

Potter Payper — “Topshottas Freestyle

After securing a Top 3 UK album with his Training Day 3 mixtape last year, Potter Payper continued his ascent in 2021 with “Topshottas Freestyle,” The East Londoner’s combines potent storytelling into a simile dense stanza for his first release on the 0207 Def Jam label.

FeaturesUnited KingdomHip HopR&BBlancoCentral CeeNSGJaykaeBugzy MaloneJorja SmithJMEPresident TMeridian DanOfficaStay Flee Get LizzyFredoMs. BanksPotter Payper

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