Before we dive into the list, we must clarify the criteria that this list is based on:
1. This is a list of artists who have had their first breakthrough in 2019, rather than artists who have spiked in popularity in 2019
2. The age of the artists, or how long that artist has been active for does not matter, if you had your first break through this year, you’re in the running
3. We tried to judge the artists based what they bring OVERALL, so this will include personality, lyrical skill, song writing ability, word play, uniqueness, beat selection, delivery, impact, versatility, how well they can enact a concept for a track, discography and work rate. This list was not considered lightly, we debated for days.
4. This list is also a prediction in a sense, a list of artists who are going to launch to the next stage as an artist
5. Everyone from SK, to Biggz the engineer to Scratch OTB himself, contributed to this list, this was a joint effort
Considering the debate on twitter that has taken place, there are plenty of names to consider and we still believe there are certainly artists worth mentioning that did not make the cut. So without further ado, here are the honorable mentions, in order.
I can already hear Yanko fans screaming at us, how did this man didn’t make the list? Whilst he is earned his reputation as quite frankly the most disrespectful drill rapper in his freshman class, (Yes even that includes those who did make the list.) he simply does not have the discography, impact or overall song writing abilities as some of those who did make the list. The trend in UK Drill currently “punchline drill” and Yanko doesn’t quite do that as well as some of the others on this list. Yanko’s Quotables aren’t usually his punchlines, they are the lines when he’s sending shots at someone. Even then, his delivery can be off, and his lines could come out a lot cleaner.
Honestly, the only reason that C1 is not on this list, is that he had his breakthrough last year with tracks like “Hide N Seek”. He is certainly of the caliber of many of the artists who made the list, he simply reached that caliber last year, and would have made a 2018 FF UK Drill Freshman list. It would be almost insulting to call him a freshman at this point, and various names such as V9, RV, Smuggzy Ace and NIto NB were not considered for the list for the same reason. If you haven’t listened to C1’s mixtape “Time will tell” is suggest you do that as you read the rest of this post, out on all digital platforms now.
Fizzler is what can be called a complete rapper, in a sense that everyone that is core to being a good rapper, Fizzler has. He has good flow, his delivery is solid, and tracks like “Deep in it” prove he can write hooks displaying song writing ability. So why didn’t he make the list you ask? Simple, Personality. He needs something that sets him apart rather than just being a “good rapper”, and he doesn’t noticeably excel in any of the areas that make him complete
What made Tanna a option for the Freshman list for us is his versatility. He is able to perform on traditional drill beats such on his track “10Ten” doing punchline drill, as well as rap beats such as on “Beast Mode” with S1. His downside is not having a discography as large as some of the artists who made it this year, and he’s yet to have the impact that some of those artists have had. He simply hasn’t elevated to that status yet, however, Tanna won’t stop improving and do not be surprised if Tanna makes the list next year.
The return of Loose is a great e.p. and if you haven’t heard it, get that in your music libraries on all platform. His beat selection is great which is why we felt tracks like “Fling it back” and “Ciroc or Cali” work so well. However, Loose1 would struggle to keep up lyrically with some of the artists on this list, despite how good his song writing ability is, as he has put together the best hooks out of everyone on the list. “Ciroc or Cali” is a rave ready Drill anthem, and we think he should stay on this path.
6. Hitman x DA
A great dynamic duo that the scene needs to hear more of with a great work rate, the problem in terms of a duo or trio having an impact on the scene, they don’t have that yet. all the great tag teams in Drill are established names, Rzo Munna x soze, Headie x RV, Kwengface x Karma, Loski x Mizormac.
He is as disrespectful as Yanko but simply isn’t as good lyrically, has similar delivery issues, and doesn’t have a work rate as good as some of the artists on this list. If Yanko is a better version of Kavelly, it would be hard to justify putting Kavelly on this list.
8. (ZT) Dama
Dama is certainly talented, and that shows on his verses that he’s put out this year. But with a lack of drill solos it would be hard to justify putting him on the list, certainly another one to watch for next year.
9. Abigail x IvorianDoll
What they have accomplished, their impact, and ability are undeniable, however its very simple to explain why they didn't make the list. It is impossible to justify that they should make the list with the various other names on this Honorable Mentions list that did not make it
Stay tuned for when the full list drops tomorrow at 11am