MTV The Wrap Up – UK Rap Rundown: The 2012 Round Up

It’s been a good year, especially for UK rap – we have seen it grow and reach some great heights. I have only been writing The Wrap Up’s UK Rap Rundown for six months, starting in July when I reported for you from L.A for the BET Awards. Now that it’s the last UK Rap Rundown of 2012, I guess I should do what everyone else is doing and give you guys a wrap up of the year. But I’m not going to do that; I’m going to give you some of my personal highlights – you may or may not agree, but this is what is what caught my attention and went down for me…

A female that has really impressed me this year is Shystie; from working with Azealia Banks to her videos and mixtape ‘Gold Dust 2’. This lady has really been putting in the work, proving even though she’s been in it for a while she’s still strong and here to stay.

South London’s windy music duo Ard Adz and Sho Shallow really caught my eye this year. Releasing their ‘P.U.S.H’ mixtape, putting out many videos and also being nominated for MTV’s Unsigned for 2013, these two are destined for big things.

Genesis Elijah has also had an outstanding year. Being a more established name in the game and one many look up to, he just keeps evolving and getting better. He released a few mixtapes such as ‘I Ain’t Even Charging Bruv 2’ and ‘An Emcees Worst Enemy’ – a standout track for me was ‘Underground King’.

Let’s look at some other mixtapes that deserve a mention. K. Koke’s ‘Pure Koke 3’ is the last in the ‘Pure Koke’ series which started with Vol 1 in 2010. Vol 3 saw a mixture of new and old tracks, with a standout track for me being ‘I’m Nice’. We also have the ‘I Ain’t Perfect’ album to look forward to from Koke next year.

Political Peak’s ‘Dreams 2 Reality’ caused quite a stir when it was released. He also put out many visuals to some of the tracks, including ‘Times Have Changed’, ‘Tables Have Turnt’ and ‘Tears In The Rain’.

Dru Blu has had a good year, releasing his street album ‘ This Is Don Strapzy’ and recently releasing a mixtape ‘Best Of Dru Blu’ – along with a flurry of videos and tracks to keep us entertained throughout the year.

Margate rapper Mic Righteous is definitely destined for big things in 2013. At the beginning of the year he released his second mixtape ‘Kampain’ which thoroughly impressed me. He also had the infamous beef with Tim Westwood, releasing a diss track to him called ‘Sack City’.  Look out for the ‘Open Mic’ EP, coming early next year.

‘Wretchercise’ was definitely a big one this year, with Wretch 32 being many people’s favourite rapper. He definitely showed us why he was worthy of this title, as he gave us a first class 17-track deep tape.

Ratlin’s ‘Crown Me’ mixtape which was released in December and had a heavy buzz; with a solid two years in the game, Ratlin has quickly cemented his position in the UK rap game. Squeeks ‘Call Me Squeeko’ caught my attention from the beginning till the end, with ‘I Got You’ being my favourite track refixing The Weeknd’s ‘Rolling Stone’.

Melanin 9 aka M9’s album ‘Magna Carta’ is one we can’t miss; the album is a firm favourite for UK hip-hop heads. Mystro’s ‘Mystrogen’ was a cleverly crafted, witty debut album from the emcee that reflected his full range of skills, including wordplay and social commentary.

Blade Brown’s ‘Bags & Boxes 2’ made it high in the iTunes charts, as an independent artist this showed Blade’s progression and for me, he became the king of UK trap. Skepta’s ‘Blacklisted’ is another one we can’t miss out, with standout tracks ‘Ace Hood Flow’ and ‘Castles’.

There we go guys – my personal highlights of the year. Unfortunately I couldn’t mention all of them, but regardless I hope you have enjoyed my updates in UK rap for the past six months. Happy New Year – I’ll see you on the other side!

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