Hometown: London, England
Notable Song: “Don’t You Ever Go”
Sounds Like: Despite the unmistakable South London signifiers, the soundscape most comparable to Blade would be early Young Jeezy or Gucci Mane.
Why You Need To Know Him: Over the past decade, UK rap can be best typified by the trap/“road rap” explosion of the late 2000s (see: Giggs). But as a graduate of the era prior, Blade Brown essentially stands alone in an elevated status. This gives him an aura of assuredness in his rhymes that helps separates him from the rest; he’s the type to say more in two lines than most manage in a whole verse. Regarding his output, less seems to be more with Blade; despite not being a mixtape-every-month kind of rapper, an ear for strong beats combined with very underrated lyrical ability means you’d be hard pressed to find a rapper in the UK with a more respected discography. —Tobi Oke