Is The Best in New U.K. Rap Talent Now Hailing From Outside The Capital?

When taking a look at the landscape of U.K. Rap, it's in both a healthy and great space. This year we've had the likes of D Block Europe selling out 4 O2 Arena dates, with 80,000 tickets sold, an achievement not many U.K. artists within any genre could achieve. We've had the likes of Potter Payper release what was undoubtedly rap album of the year with Thanks For Waiting - winning album of the year at the Mobo's and we had the song of the year 'Sprinter' by Central Cee & Dave stay No.1 on the official charts for a record 10 weeks, making waves and a serious statement across the world. However, a question that many music journalists, commentators and fans may have pondered on, especially over the last year or so concerning U.K. Rap is - Is the best in new U.K. rap talent now predominantly being produced outside of London? When considering an alternative question of which artists have had the best breakout year or best year musically in general - it's likely more rappers from outside of the capital would probably come to mind first. Marnz Malone, Nemzzz, Tunde who won 'Best Newcomer' at the Mobos this year, the list could go on. This article is going to take a close look at four artists and what they could be set to deliver in 2024 - all hailing from outside the capital!

Mazza L20 (Liverpool)

One of the standout and more recent artists to come out of Liverpool over the past year, after building a buzz throughout 2023 alongside the likes of Marnz Malone & KayMuni. All three are coincidentally incarcerated in the same jail - a 'hale end' roster of talent straight from the trenches. There's something about the scouser accent over hard-hitting gritty instrumentals that just allow the two to go hand in hand perfectly. Mazza's biggest hit 'Murdaside' earned him his first Top 20 - an achievement that is a testament to the talent and the trajectory he is on, putting on for Merseyside in a big way! Mazza's mixtape 'Concrete Jungle' is a must-listen to project if you're a fan of raw and introspective rap. Over the last three years, Mazza has released three projects, going 3 for 3. Having recently released 'What You Mean' with Tunde - hopefully, we can expect Mazza to release another project and make it 4 for 4, as he only seems to be getting better with each project.

Marnz Malone (Birmingham)

Marnz Malone - arguably one of the biggest prospects out of the city of Birmingham we've seen in recent years, following the likes of Mist, Millionz and a few others from the 0121! Marnz Malone rose to prominence last year by going viral with his jail freestyles alongside U.K. Rap legend KB and childhood friend KayMuni who has also garnered a lot of attention over the last twelve months. Marnz Malone is an authentic storyteller, with many of his songs depicting the life he's lived and experienced before his time in jail. His debut release 'Maktub' was immediately taken in by the streets and made waves in the industry, landing him an alleged six-figure deal. His most recent offering 'Tina's Boy', a tribute to his mother is a strong and notable follow-up, with production much cleaner than Maktub, boasting co-signs from the likes of Potter Payper and Tottenham's BandoKay. For 2024 to be Marnz Malone's year, it would be great to see him go on a crazy feature run, proving what he can do when going verse for verse with other artists, a challenge that would be exciting to see him step up to.


Nemzzz (Manchester)

Nemzzz, I think personally may be the next big star to come from our scene. If we take a look at 2024 so far, it wouldn't be far-fetched to say he has had the strongest start to the year when looking at the landscape of U.K. Rap. His debut project 'Do Not Disturb' may be one of the best projects I have heard from an "up north" artist since Tunde's 'Last Lap' project was delivered last year. Nemzzz is refreshing, from his delivery to beat selection. The Mancunian has an ear for choosing artists to work and collaborate with. ETA with German artist Luciano is a stand out on his latest project, with the duo going 2 for 2 after Nemzzz featured on Luciano's recent album 'Seductive', released a month prior. It's rumoured that Nemzzz turned down a 2 million deal quoting lyrics from ETA "I need 10 million pounds for a deal, what the f**k is 2 M's". This showcases the destined path that the young star is on. If Nemzzz plays his cards right, I could see him easily landing a deal in his favour close to that region. His potential is undeniable and he has the capability and capacity to fly the flag and cement his place on the throne for Manny.


Booter Bee (Huddersfield)

Booter Bee, the masked rapper representing Huddersfield and probably the first from the West Yorkshire town to make serious waves in what is an ever-growing genre of U.K. Drill. Booter's breakthrough has been so immense it almost seems as if it's happened overnight but this is far from the case. We can go back as early as 2020 with his hood's hottest freestyle as a starting point for the rapper's journey. He began to start making a name for himself over the last year, with his ear-catching flow, gruesome lyrics and selection of punchy drill beats that have caught the attention of prominent rappers from our scene including Headie One, Millionz and WeWantWraiths. The accent, cadence and delivery serve as a triple threat with Booter Bee's debut project 'True Stories' earning a top 40 chart spot independently, a major achievement for what is his first project and ultimately a statement and true measure of what's to come!






Written by Toren (Founder of 99Piece)

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