UK Rap – Hottest artists coming from overseas


Murphy Eggers

Over the past couple of years, the world has seen a wide array of styles of music emerge.  One of the biggest genres of music that has quite a few variations is hip-hop.  No matter what part of the United States you’re in, the style of rap is representative of the city.  New York drill rap has emerged over the past couple of years with massive artists including Pop Smoke, Fivio Foreign, Sheff G, and an extensive list of other rappers from New York.  Something that has been brought up with the New York drill scene is how artists like Pop Smoke often used beats that are similar or directly from the United Kingdom.

This week The Minnesota Republic is highlighting the drill sound from overseas that is making waves worldwide.  The artists highlighted are some of the hottest new acts that have recently attracted a lot of attention for their unique lyrics and beats.

Central Cee:

Hailing from Shepherd’s Bush, London, Central Cee has been the hottest artist out of the UK currently.  Earlier in 2021, Central Cee released his first album titled “Wild West” which peaked at number 2 on the charts in the UK.  This album features 14 songs with some of his earliest breakout singles which debuted in mid to late 2020.  In June 2020, Central Cee debuted “Day in the Life” which proved to be his first popular song.  Later that year in October, “Loading” was released to the world and was an even greater success.  “Loading” currently has over 110 million plays on Spotify alone and 65 million views on YouTube.

Central Cee has also seen exposure in the US music market with a feature Shoreline Mafia member, OHGEESY in a song called “Startn Up” which was on his most recent solo album.  Central Cee has seen unprecedented success even with intense lockdowns abroad, yet still found ways to still get 6.5 million monthly plays on Spotify alone.

Digga D:

Digga D, a London native, has seen a similar rise to fame as Central C with both Digga D and Central C going to school together.  Digga D, however, has a bit a little more storied background in the drill scene within the UK.  Making and releasing drill music in England and many surrounding countries can be a tall task with many more restrictions than United States artists may have.

Digga D started his music career by starting a drill group called “1011”, the name originating from W10 and W11 which are postal codes for West London.  Members of 1011 faced trouble when they were arrested when police found weapons that are strictly prohibited.  Because of these arrests, the police required the group to receive permission from law enforcement before releasing any music under many conditions.  Some of the conditions included wearing a GPS ankle monitor, checking in with probation every three hours, no reference of any postal codes or real-life incidents between rival gangs.

Eventually, Digga D made his way out of his problems with releasing music.  In the summer of 2020 Digga D released his single “Woi”. “Woi” gained traction with listeners worldwide.  Complex editors added “Woi” as one of the best songs of 2020.  After multiple other popular single releases including “Bringing it Back” and “Chingy”, Digga D brought his second mixtape titled Made in Pyrex in February of 2021.  This Digga D project was the highest-charting tape by an independent UK drill rapper to date.


One of the newest artists to the scene is 19-year-old ArrDee from Brighton, England.  ArrDee found a real breakout by having a feature on the popular song “Body”.  “Body” featured many artists including Tion Wayne, Russ Millions, 3x3E1, ZT, Bugzy Malone, and of course ArrDee.  In addition, the remix of “Body” had popular Brooklyn drill artist Fivio Foreign as a feature which brought US-based attention as well.  “Body” reached number one on the charts in the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and reached number 5 on billboard hot 100 singles in the US.

Even early in his career, ArrDee has released his own music including “Oliver Twist” which reached number 6 on the charts in the UK.  Also, Digga D brought ArrDee onto a recent track called “Wasted” which reached number 6 on the UK charts as well.

While many US-based listeners may be unaware of the rap scene that is taking place overseas, attention to many of these rappers should not be neglected.  Some other artists from overseas to also checkout include Stormzy, dutchavelli, SR, Tion Wayne, and Russ Millions.