It’s been just over a year since I wrote my last “10 rappers to watch” article, highlighting some of the most exciting Christian rap artists from over here in the UK. And what a year it’s been for the UK Christian Rap scene! Despite a global pandemic and multiple lockdowns, 2020 has probably been the strongest year ever for the genre.
- We’ve seen loads of new rappers make their debut. So many, in fact, that I could have easily listed 20 or even 30 UK Christian Rappers for you to keep an eye on in 2021.
- Plenty of rappers from last year’s list (like Konola, TJ Cream, Jesse Francis, and Deyah) dropped albums/mixtapes.
- And on top of that, we’ve seen some true “hits” coming out of the scene and doing six figures on Spotify and YouTube. I’m thinking in particular of tracks like “Heaven” by Still Shadey, “Outreach” by Abxl x Living Testimony, and “Holy Spirit by Tee Supreme.
And while we’re talking about Tee Supreme, let’s get into 10 new UK artists for you to check out in 2021.
1. Tee Supreme
Tee Supreme had a HUGE 2020. Obviously, he’s not a new name in the UK rap scene (Tee has been releasing music for over seven years) but he only got baptized and surrendered to Christ in November 2019. Since then, he’s been making gospel music.
2020 saw him release four singles; “One Sign,” “Holy Spirit,” “Ease & Grace” (above), and “Peter Paul.”
“Holy Spirit” just hit 100K streams on Spotify and won Track of the Year at the 2020 MXRCY Awards. “Ease & Grace” very much followed in its footsteps and features the same drill beat used by New York rapper CJ for his 2020 banger “Whoopty.”
We look forward to more gospel drill from Tee in 2021!
Collistar is another well-known name in the secular UK rap scene that has recently pivoted into Christian music. Over a year ago, Collistar deleted his entire back catalog from online stores and streaming platforms…but now he’s returned with new music!
And he’s back with a bang! “1952” is a mellow/alternative drill track consisting of autotuned riffs, trumpets, and Collistar’s trademark one-liners. The song encourages us to remember the real battle going on “above our heads,” even in present times of trouble when life is chaotic.
With rumors of an EP coming later this year, we’re very excited about Collistar in 2021!
Goons4God have been making gospel drill before it was even called “gospel drill.” 2020 saw them move from YouTube and SoundCloud onto all streaming platforms with their Diligent League EP.
“Diligent League” (featuring Artz, Jordz, Loomz, Akavelli, and L.Boogie) had two standout hits – “Scoreboard” (video above) and “Prayer.” We’re looking forward to hearing more from G4G in 2021 and you should also keep an eye out for some solo releases.
Alongside their music ministry, Goons4God is also active on the streets with initiatives such as Block Church, where they bring the Word of God to different estates and preach Jesus to anyone who will listen.
4. Abxl x Living Testimony
Abxl and Living Testimony exploded onto the UK Christian Rap scene in 2020 with their debut hit “Outreach.” It’s since hit 120K streams on Spotify and 41K on Youtube after blowing up on TikTok.
The young duo followed that up with another gospel drill hit in “Salvation” (above) and then dropped the “Unseen” EP.
To top it all off, Abxl x Living Testimony won Best Newcomer at the recent 2020 MXRCY Awards, triumphing over a number of strong nominees such as; Buzzella, Condoseven, Rap Tist, and TKE3.
5. Oz or O
Oz or O is a member of the collective ZAA Music. He got a mention in last year’s list after featuring on a couple of TJ Cream tracks. 2020 saw him release a string of singles and a 16-track album called Deeper Than Rap.
From drill to rap to more smooth/R&B tunes, Oz is extremely versatile. And versatile in a good way. He still maintains his own unique sound as an artist.
In fact, his two most streamed tracks on Spotify are actually more on the smooth/R&B end of the rap continuum; “Define Me” (with 24K) and “Repay You” (with 22K).
Likemikes is an artist that should be on everyone’s radar in 2021. I wanted to include him in my list last year but he’d just deleted his back catalog of two earlier albums and I was worried he’d quit music. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case!
Likemikes has two EPs on Spotify; Transition (2019) and Lost in Transition (2020). His most popular track to date is “River Dance.”
He has a melodic trap style of rapping that is extremely versatile and perfect for collaborations with other Christian rappers of all styles. A great example of this is his verse on Toronto-native Ayomilly’s track “Rebel.”
Marko (another member of ZAA) has so far only put out two singles – “Encore” and “Psalms” (below) – but the quality of his releases has definitely earned him the title of “one to watch.”
“Psalms” has over 42,000 streams on Spotify and the video has 30,000 views on Gospel Hydration. It was also nominated for a 2020 MXRCY Award for Video of the Year.
Recently, Marko has been dropping plenty of teasers and snippets on his socials – so we can definitely expect some more singles and a mixtape coming from him very soon. And check out his Love Hurts mini-documentaries on his Instagram to get to know him better.
K.Lewis is a Christian grime artist who has been bubbling away under the surface for a few years now. His track “Practice” (2018) was one of the releases that first encouraged me to get involved with the UK Christian Rap scene.
Last year, K.Lewis released “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” and “Our God” – two completely different tracks but both excellent in their own right. “Rebirth” (above) was released in 2019 via SBTV and is one of my favorite gospel grime tracks.
K.Lewis is definitely ready to break into the mainstream, potentially following in the footsteps of fellow Christian grime artist namesbliss and gaining recognition in the secular UK rap industry.
9. JL Poleon
JL Poleon has been making music for years (have a search on YouTube and there are videos going back over five years) but it was only in late 2019 that he became a big name within the UK Christian rap scene after releasing “Afraid” and performing at Saved Sounds LDN.
“Afraid,” “Best Know,” and “Park It Off” have all surpassed 10,000 streams on Spotify and his 2020 EP Who Says? really exceeded expectations and was nominated for EP of the Year at the 2020 MXRCY Awards.
JL brings his own unique sound and style to the gospel drill genre that is proving so popular over here in the UK at the moment.
Zelijah spends most of his time filming everyone’s music videos under his Aligned Vision brand. But when he’s not directing and shooting, he’s dropping consistent bangers.
Banner (above) was one of the biggest songs to come out of the UK Christian rap scene in 2019. In 2020, Zelijah (who goes by “Zelijah Tishbite” on Spotify) dropped a 3-track gospel drill EP called Olive Oil and Gloves. “Splash It” and “April Showers” became instant hits and the EP went on to win MXRCY’s 2020 EP of the Year award.
Zelijah fans will be excited to hear that he’s currently in the booth with Konola working on something very special for 2021!
BONUS #1: GS x Rev J
I had a bonus entry last year (Konola), so I thought it was only fair to do the same again this year and highlight one more UK artist. In fact, here are two more UK Christian rappers for you to keep an eye on in 2021; GS and Rev J – the original gospel drill duo.
GS & Rev J are part of BFTK (Barz For The Kingdom) and have been putting out music for over 3 years! They had a big hit towards the end of 2019 with How It’s Done (above) and then dropped a remix featuring Goons4God.
2020 saw the duo put out some solo releases and features but they’re back with their new track and video “Lightstyle” coming very soon. There are also rumors of a Rev J and Konola collaboration in the pipeline!
BONUS #2: Guni
I had this article all wrapped up and ready to go and then Guni dropped Rest, a 12-track album that I’ve been listening to non-stop today. Having heard the album, I couldn’t not include Guni. So, Guni (from Birmingham) is my second bonus entry!
“Shalom” (above) is Guni’s biggest track to date with over 10,000 plays between Spotify and YouTube. But on his new album Rest, Guni explores other genres and sounds besides grime. You’ll find him rapping, singing, and everything in between over various beats.
Personally, I love the more chilled/introspective Guni. He has a real gift for sharing whatever is on his heart through his lyrics with a raw and yet compassionate style. Make sure you give the album a listen!
Discover more UK Christian Rap!
If you’re looking for more UK Christian Rap then make sure you check out last year’s version of this list (featuring Marc Jones, Jesse Francis, R-Scar, Dee Witness, Deyah, TOZZA (now TIDEZ), Luke November, Sams4Christ, CRB, TJ Cream, and Konola.
You might also like to follow MXRCY’s Christian Rap UK playlist on Spotify. With over 2,750 followers, it’s the most popular (and most listened to) UK Christian Rap playlist on Spotify!