Every year, the music scene starts from scratch and we see up-and-coming artists build on the work of their predecessors. New, exciting elements come into play, such as multiple branches of a particular sub-genre sprout and the emergence of various, different artists. In this instance, I shall be focusing on U.K. drill, a sub-genre that has accumulated global recognition yet is still in its infancy. There are many heights drill can be taken to across the world, the question is who will further the sub-genre and dominate the streets and commercial world as the year unfolds? These are my U.K. based picks for the top ten drill artists to watch in 2021 and beyond.
Kicking off this selection will be DoRoad, a U.K. rapper who has been on the scene since 2018 and was featured in Loski’s debut mixtape Call Me Loose. Unfortunately, DoRoad’s promising rap career was delayed by a two-year prison stint, which led to the hype surrounding his name dying down. However, his explosive return to the music scene has resulted in features on Frosty, Sleeks from Smoke Boys and Carns Hill’s mixtapes. DoRoad’s solo discography is growing with his recent track ‘It Was Me’ gaining less than half a million views in a month. DoRoad’s refreshing yet skippy flow will catapult him among emerging rap talents in the U.K.
(67) PR SAD
Next up is PR SAD, a young, prospering drill rapper emerging from U.K. drill pioneers, 67. Despite having a small but growing catalogue like DoRoad, it is clear that PR SAD is ready to take the baton carrying 67 forward to their former glory days. His Plugged in with Fumez and Next Up freestyles clarify why he is next up in the drill scene. PR SAD’s authentic grittiness and hard-hitting bars are reminiscent of the drill that was emerging during the early 2010s, definitely an artist to watch and someone who clearly understands the sonic roots of drill.
Coming straight out of the 98s, a newly formed drill collective whose members include the likes of KO and V9 is wordplay’s newest magician DA. Recently releasing his first solo song ‘Couple of Times’ after his collaborative debut mixtape Class of 98s, we are seeing a huge level of consistency in the quality of music produced by this budding artist. While comparisons are not always the best measure of other people’s talent, it is nice to hear similarities between DA and KO, the latter is described as Drilliam Shakespeare, a reference to the playwright, William Shakespeare. DA’s carefully structured wordplay and punchlines are admirable since he was introduced to the scene in 2020, a newcomer who has an abundance of talent that is accompanied by ground-breaking visual concepts. DA is one to watch.