It looks like 2018 may just be the year Drill music emerges onto the mainstream scene. We’ve put together a list of the top 5 Drill Artists to watch out for this year – no particular order:
After rebranding himself as SL in order to get around a music ban issued by the Metropolitan Police, the masked 16 year-old has done everything but stay under the radar.
After dropping the anthem Gentleman, mid 2017, all eyes were on SL and he did not disappoint. With his calm and relaxed flow, he’ll have you and your mates saying how it is all “smiles when the pack[coke/heroin] came in now we got to break this down”. You can argue that his iconic style further paved the way for accepting a more calm and smooth type of drill flow, started by Bis (Harlem Spartans). From the moment that he dropped Gentleman, SL’s work rate only increased. From being brought out at Wireless by Section Boyz, to releasing 4 more songs and by the end of the year which accumulated a healthy 28.1 million views on Youtube.
The fact that SL has this many views and still has to put his hand up to go to the toilet at school is insane. We are almost 4 months into 2018 though and haven’t seen any new releases from the young artist. But after a cryptic post on his Instragram story with Yxng Bane the other day it looks he shall be dropping new music very soon. Watch out.
2.Headie One (OFB)
Even if you don’t listen to Drill you should have heard of Headie One or his antics. Arguably dominating the Drill scene right now, you could even call him Drill’s answer to Stormzy. Part of Tottenham’s OFB, Headie One stood out from the rest of the group with his unique flow on tracks such as “8 Bar Specialist”, “Loyal” and “Mad Max”. Going onto release his own tracks, he was catching straight W’s. This was up until the Bedfordshire University event where he was “violated” by some of his opps who had caught him lacking after a show.
Normally a situation like this would attribute to the demise of the artists reputation especially because the incident went viral. But Headie One didn’t let this deter him and went ahead and made the hit track “Know Better”. In the song he addressed the situation and it did so well he re-released his EP just to add the song to it. Letting you know that he’s got “live corn in the shh”, Headie One is an artist that is not slowing down. Moreover, in an interview with the platform NFTR, he said that he’s going to do more “positive things” – Hopefully this means him moving away from the criminal aspect of his life preventing a high likelihood of his career being halted by him going prison. Headie One is set to dominate 2018, with his winter tracks amassing him an upwards of 7.6 million views it is clear that he’s just getting started.
3. Loski (Harlem Spartans)
After his release from prison last year, rapper Loski re-joined Kennington’s Harlem Spartans, who were riding a strong wave of success from 2016. Loski went onto only further boost their success by demonstrating how not only he could deliver on the hardest drill beats with his unique flow but his versatility. I mean he pretty much started the whole Afro-Drill scene with the release/leak of his banger “Forrest Gump”. Whether accidently leaked or done to test the waters – artists from groups such as 410, Zone 2 and many more subsequently jumped in on this new sound.
With his highly anticipated mixtape “Call Me Loose” set to drop April 13th it could see his break into mainstream charts. Having already featured in the 2017 MOBO Cypher, Loski has already been co-signed by the “voice of the streets” Kenny Allstar. Looking at only his most recent tracks from the past year he has amassed an upwards of 16 million views on Youtube alone. Officially announcing on Instagram that the visuals to the hit Forrest Gump are in the works; If Loski maintains his work rate, along with his versatile and raw flow he has the potential to carry North London Drill into mainstream charts.
4.Am & Skengdo (410)
If you want to learn how to be hated in an industry that you dominate look no further than dynamic duo AM and Skengdo. Straight out of the South London gang 410 they are despised by many gangs in London and that is made clear in a number of tracks – With the phrase “everything green[410’s colour] get bun” becoming almost a staple in most drill songs, I mean there’s even an artist called “Mr AnythingGreenGetBun”.
It’s evident that 410 are not liked amongst their industry peers, but that should only show how well AM and Skendgo have done and how despite all the hate within the scene they are still the top artists. After taking over from their olders, B.T. and Rendo, they’ve got people’s attention with the track “Think Again”. Equipped with Skengdo’s clear and almost smooth flow and AM’s raw and distinct voice the pair stood out as some of the hardest in the scene.
You could argue that their work rate is unparalleled, they have released the most songs out of all the artists on this list; being rewarded with around 31 million views on Youtube. After ending 2017 with an excellent finish, they have taken the first 3 months of the year off, but jumped back into things with the release of “German Swerving”. 2018 looks like another year in which the duo shall dominate and if anything, further cement their position in the UK Drill Scene. Oh, and they only take up one place because you can’t have one without the other – to fully understand why, go listen to their Mad About Bars and you’ll see what I’m on about.
5. M Huncho
Okay so he’s not technically Drill, but his music is closer to drill than anything else. Also, the majority of his collaborations are with Drill artists so it is easier to assume that he is one.
If there is any artist that is Drill’s poster boy, that would be M Huncho. His almost melodic rapping has created a whole new genre which he clearly dominates. Though he dons a balaclava 24/7, his voice and flow are instantly recognisable on any track. Despite having only one type of flow, M Huncho is extremely versatile. From the fast-paced tracks such as “A Man Remix” where his flow will give you chills. To tracks like “Mediocre” and “Hate to Say Freestyle” where, despite him using some auto-tune you can still feel all the emotion in his voice. With no overt gang ties, it has meant that M Huncho can collaborate with anyone he wants to. From featuring on Headie One’s EP, to saying on Radar Radio that he’s good with AM x Skengdo. With M Huncho having a solid 14 million views on Youtube under his belt and testing the waters about switching up his flow for the summer through a freestyle on BBC 1XTRA, I put money you him performing at Wireless next year.