Words by Finlay Bell
Lord Apex – UK Rap
Here we have the self-proclaimed ‘UK Snoop’, West-London’s very own Lord Apex. With his first single dropping in 2013, this rapper has been rising steadily ever since. The last couple of years have seen the release of his marquee projects, namely ‘Smoke Sessions Vol. 2’, ‘Darskies’ and ‘Supply & Demand’, with New York based producer VDon. The relationship with the aforementioned VDon brought about arguably the biggest feature of Apex’s career thus far, with Buffalo-residing MC Westside Gunn, from the extremely popular, stateside Hip Hop collective Griselda. These are the types of cosigns that can single handedly vouch for the lyrical and artistic talent of Lord Apex, but his music really displays that all on it’s own.
Honestly, Lord Apex is the MC singlehandedly spearheading the classic Hip Hop renaissance within the UK. Keep an eye out for his next moves; expect to hear even more great music and anticipate even more impressive collaborations that will boost his profile on both sides of the Atlantic.
Ross From Friends – House/Techno
Ross From Friends is an electronic music producer from London who is pushing the boat out and constantly exploring new with every release. With parents who met due to their innovation and love for music (see the video for the 2018 single ‘Pale Blue Dot’ for reference), you can hear all these qualities that influence the music their son makes today. Beautiful samples, gorgeous instrumentation and electronic experimentation seathe out through every aspect of his production, providing coherent artistic direction with every release he has made.
It is apparent that the ideas Ross From Friends has are bigger than where he is currently. With the recent announcement of his own label, Scarlett Tiger, with accompanying single ‘Burner’, that saw him on multiple playlists and posters of the single plastered around London, paired with the gorgeous musical offerings he has delivered over the past few years, this year should be the year that culminates all aspects to rightly see him in the forefront of the electronic music sphere.
Skin 0n Skin – House/Techno
Australian-based, Sudanese-blorn House & Techno producer Skin On Skin is a refreshing new face that should be tipped for big things in the near future. With production that masterfully delves into Hip Hop with his sampling or bearing beautiful melodies accompanied by thumping beats, Skin On Skin has the talent and versatility to appeal to fans of all different genres, and his heartwarming demeanour as seen on his social media will be sure to keep fans sticking around.
His last release with close friend jamesjamesjames was anticipated for months since he teased the title song ‘Memories of Before’ at a live show, and the final release didn’t disappoint. What followed was his selection as the face of Spotify’s ‘Techno State’, introducing fans of the genre a small glimpse of the exciting sounds he has to offer. Also, having already collaborated with Techno kingpin Mall Grab, you should expect a lot more big moves like this to come that will be sure to cement his place as one of the most exciting electronic producers around.
Lancey Foux – UK Rap
Having been brought to my attention around 2015 with his breakout song ‘About It’, it has been remarkable to see the artistic evolution of South London’s Lancey Foux. His back catalogue alone displays the creative vision he has had from early, and in just over a year, he has proved this. Releasing his 5th studio album ‘Friend or Foux’ with features from rising stars such as Bakar and UK Legends like Skepta and Chip and numerous singles with accompanying videos on his YouTube channel he has proven a mainstay in the Alt UK Rap scene. Style, sound, presence – Lancey has it all.
It is clear Lancey is in his own lane and has free reign to explore new sounds in whatever way he wants. Consequently, I am sure he will become more of a household name for all UK rap fans in the near future. I’m also tipping him to break out in the US within the next year; he has the sound and image that transcends cultures, which stateside rap fans will soon understand if they haven’t already, and that is a 1-in-a-million quality that is so rare for such a young individual like Lancey Foux.