A guide to UK Drill (Updated February 2020) Credits (u/guidetoukdrill)
Drill originated from Chicago, however it gained a foothold within the local urban scene in the UK, creating it’s own sound and becoming one of the most popular forms of street music, despite police censorship and the incarceration of many of the most popular acts.
Here are the most essential artists/crews in the scene:
(FYI – A lot of the songs linked here were taken down off YouTube due to police pressure, so many of the links are to unofficial re-uploads)
67 – Coming from Brixton Hill, 67 are one of the most known UK drill crews in the scene, they have amassed millions of views and are known all around the UK. Their popularity has waned in recent years, along with the arrests of some of their most prominent members although others such as Dimzy, Monkey and AK are still dropping music
Essential songs – 67 Ft Giggs – Lets Lurk
They also have youngers (young members) who have gained a lot of popularity, although they have not dropped music as much recently due to legal troubles.
Essential songs – 67 (R6 & ST) & Harlem Spartans (Bis & MizOrMac) – Splash & Cash
Most recent – 67 (AK) & Harlem Spartans (Splash) – In Style
Harlem Spartans – Harlem Spartans, hailing from Kennington, became one of the biggest UK drill groups in the scene with talents such as MizOrMac (who many people call the GOAT UK drill rapper), Loski, Blanco and many more. With their unique sound, more melodic beat choice and wide variety of different flows used by their rappers, they heavily influenced the scene and took it further from its Chicago roots. With many of the Spartans being affected by a wave of incarcerations and a couple of them unfortunately passing away, they haven’t been as active lately but with MizOrMac apparently due for release in February 2020 and members such as Blanco dropping charting songs, they are still one of the most talked about and influential groups in the scene.
Essential songs – Harlem Spartans (Loski) – Hazards
Most recent – Harlem Spartans (Bis & Blanco) – I Don’t Mind
Harlem Spartans also have youngers who have been putting in work musically and gained quite a bit of hype, although the most popular of these (OnDrills/Jazzy) is currently in prison. However, duo Splash and Trapfit are both still dropping music and recently released a mixtape together.
Essential songs – Harlem Spartans (OnDrills, LM & Splash) – Certified
150/GBG – 150 are another well known group and reside in Angell Town, Brixton, close to where 67 are from. They beef 67 and any other affiliated crews of them. Stickz, who is one of the members of 150 was one of the first artists to bring drill into the UK scene, essentially setting the standards. Their workrate was slowly dropping in recent years, however M24 recently blew up along with other members such as Stickz still dropping music and Tookie being released from prison, leading to them becoming one of the most prominent groups again.
Essential songs –
Most recent – 150 (M24) x Tion Wayne – London
150’s youngers are known as AD, they haven’t really been active since 2017 although the most popular member (Tookie) recently started dropping music again
Essential songs –
Most recent: GBG (Tookie) – The Hotspot
OFB – Coming from the notorious Broadwater Farm Estate in Tottenham, north London, OFB members Rv & Headie One gained a huge amount of hype with the combination of RV’s hard delivery and bars, and Headie One’s sing-song flow and versatility. With Headie One having multiple charting songs and collabs with prominent rappers, he is currently one of the biggest rappers in the U.K.
Essential songs – OFB (RV & Headie One) – Know Better
In early 2019, the OFB youngers (the most popular trio being Double Lz, SJ & BandoKay) started to blow up, dropping a string of bangers and quickly becoming some of the most talked about rappers in the scene, with their excellent beat choice, hard hitting flows and sharp wordplay. Despite SJ being convicted of murder and sentenced to life, the remaining two have continued to blow up with a recent mixtape release and multiple songs with several million views, plus other youngers from OFB emerging such as JS, Dezzie and Izzpot (fucking shit name).
Essential songs – OFB (BandoKay, Double Lz, SJ) – Next Up?
Most recent – OFB (BandoKay & Double Lz) – OT Boppin
410 – 410, coming from the Myatt’s Field estate, are affiliated with 150 and are one of the most popular groups in the UK Drill scene, with duo Skengdo and AM becoming one of the main faces of the genre, as well as their less popular duo BT & Rendo maintaining popularity despite a slow workrate with dropping music. Their music has became slightly less raw due to censorship from the police, however they have been making a comeback recently and seem set to dominate the scene again.
Essential songs – 410 (Skengdo & AM) – Crash
Most recent – 410 (Skengdo) – Badness
1011/CGM – Ladbroke Grove based drill group CGM, formerly known as 1011, are easily one of the most talked about groups in the scene, almost having what would potentially have been the most viewed UK Drill song of all time, their Next Up? freestyle, had the video not been taken down due to legal troubles. With Digga D recently dropping a charting mixtape before going back to prison, CGM have made an enormous impact on the scene and seem only to be growing in popularity and influence.
Essential songs – 1011 (Digga D x Sav’O x TY) – Next Up?
Most recent –
Russ & Taze – With Russ’ catchy signature flow, solid workrate, popular dance moves and internet antics, it was only a matter of time before he became one of the largest names in UK Drill. More recently, his music is slowly drifting away from the UK Drill sound, and he coined the term “Crashment” to describe his more recent pop orientated, danceable songs, such as the massive hits “Gun Lean” and “Keisha & Becky” . With Taze collaborating with drill rappers in NYC, and Russ dropping very popular remixes to his big songs and linking up with rappers from Ireland, the duo became known throughout the scene, although at current time they are beefing one another and don’t seem to be making songs together any time soon
Essential songs – Russ – Splash Out 2.0
Most recent – Russ x Buni – Unruly
Homerton – Hackney based drill collective Homerton have three of the largest names in drill at the current time – Unknown T, KO and V9. With Unknown T’s incredibly unique flow and delivery, KO’s fantastic wordplay and beat choice, and V9’s devilish voice, cold hooks and iconic deadpool mask, the three of them have become known names in drill, leading to Unknown T’s song “Homerton B” being the first drill song to go silver in the UK. KO’s recent release from prison and mixtape release was a boost for them and despite Unknown T being recently arrested for murder the others are still dropping songs and and gaining views.
Essential songs – Homerton (Unknown T) – Homerton B
Most recent – Gullypabs Ft. V9 – #Homerton In Spain
7th – With the release of the song Take That Risk from the UK drill compilation Most Wanted, 7th member CB was catapulted to the forefront of the scene, with his hard hitting lyrics, raw delivery, excellent beat choice and certified reputation in the streets gaining him a large following. Unfortunately, in summer 2018 he was caught by police on a ride out and was later sentenced to 23 years in prison. With CB releasing a great mixtape at the end of 2019 and with other 7th members such as Woosh, YB, Y.CB and the BWC set with Yanko (3 him), Stickup and Broadday still dropping music, only time will tell whether 7th manage to maintain their foothold within the scene.
Essential songs – 7th (CB) – Take That Risk
Most recent – 7th (Yanko & Y.CB) x CGE (MA) – No Hook
(Most CB songs have been taken down off YouTube due to his sentence, these are mainly reuploads, however the majority are on streaming services if you would like to listen to them with a good audio quality)
Zone 2 – Peckham-based Zone 2 are known for their notorious beef with rival gang Moscow 17. With popular members such as PS, widely regarded as one of the greatest UK drill rappers despite prison heavily impacitng his career, and Narsty/Kwengface, the group are known for some of the most impactful UK drill anthems, along with having a savage street reputation. In late 2019 they made a comeback with their song “No Censor!” going viral due to the lyrics disrespecting several dead rivals, leading to it being banned from youtube.
Essential songs – Zone 2 (PS, Narsty, Trizzac & Skully) – Zone2 Step
Most recent – Zone 2 (Trizzac) – Badass
Moscow17 – Moscow17’s popularity was somewhat stunted with 2 of their popular members, GB and Incognito, being tragically killed in 2018, along with other members being badly injured, quitting music or being locked up. As of now, their most popular living member, LooseScrew/Loose is still dropping music and doesn’t look likely to stop soon.
Essential songs – Moscow17 (GB, LooseScrew & Tizzy T) – Moscow March
Most recent – Moscow17 (Loose) – On A Glide
BSide – BSide came to the forefront of the scene in 2016, with members such as 30, Django and KK having a savage street reputation and large amount of talent. The combination of their respect in the streets alongside their cold blooded bangers gained them a sizeable fanbase. A string of arrests, including that of KK for killing a music producer associated with their rivals, caused BSide’s popularity to dwindle somewhat, although as of early 2020 they have made a comeback and have started to release music again.
Essential songs – BSide (30) Where They Hiding
BSide (Django, 30, Munch & Rsz) – Block Cypher (not an actual song but the energy and chemistry is too good not to include it)
Most recent – BSIDE (Bgod) – YUCK
K Trap – K Trap has one of the most unique flows and is basically creating a different style of UK drill by himself, definitely one of the most liked solo UK drill artists. With 3 mixtapes out, a bunch of hard features and a recent face reveal, he has definitely cemented himself in the current urban music landscape of the UK.
Essential songs- K Trap – David Blaine
Most recent – K Trap – Paid The Cost
NPK/Sinsquad – Northumberland Park based SinSquad have been slowly on the come up, with cold production and member Uncs having comparisons drawn to Kodak Black due to his lazy, almost effortless flow
Essential songs – SinSquad (GP, Uncs & Kayykayy) – Mad About Bars
Most recent – SinSquad (Uncs & KayyKayy) – Lightwork Freestyle
Recently in late 2019 the NPK youngers have managed to gain a strong following due to their savage street rep and incredibly disrespectful lyrics despite the majority of their songs being unreleased exclusives. Unfortunately the majority of their popular rappers have been hit with long prison sentences just as they were about to blow up
Essential songs –
Most recent – SinSquad (TP, LR & Bully) – Oblivious
NGang – Standout NGang member NitoNB quickly exploded on to the scene with his verse on the song “Drilling”, his cold blooded lyrics and flow gaining him a large amount of attention. With a slow workrate, only releasing songs every few months, he has still managed to maintain a buzz around his music and seems set to keep rising within the scene.
Essential songs – NGang (MadMax & NitoNB) – Drilling
NGang (Workrate, AbzSav & NitoNB) – Real Life (skip to Nitos verse the other rappers verses are shit)
Most recent – NGang (NitoNB) – Lightwork Freestyle 2
6th/ACG/Y.ACG – With one of the most certified reputations in the streets and a habit of spitting some of the most disrespectful lyrics in the scene, Beckton based ACG have been quickly rising to the top, although with standout member Young Dizz’ recent sentencing to 12 years for kidnapping and torture and some of the youngers quitting music, it is unknown whether they will continue to grow their popularity and relevance
Essential songs – ACG (Young Dizz & DSav) – Time Will Tell
Most recent – ACG (Young Dizz) x Y.ACG (Striker) – Time Will Tell II
ZT/London Fields – Standout ZT member Latts first gained major attention with his diss song towards Homerton, “The Truth”, and since has become known for his violent lyrics and cold flow. e Recently he has been convicted for rape (!?) so we may not hear from him for a while. Balistik is another ZT member who has gained some traction, with his dance moves and unique flow setting him apart from other rappers.
Essential songs – ZT (Latts) – The Truth
Most recent – ZT (Latts & Blacka) – Timing
S1 & Sav12/MHG S1 & MostWanted Sav – Former 12World members S1 and Sav12 have built a name for themselves as one of the most popular duos in drill, thanks to S1’s unique fast flow, dance moves and hilarious ad-libs, and Sav12’s deep, guttural voice and cut-throat bars. Despite gaining a large amount of hate online, S1 has still managed to become one of the most talked about rappers in the scene, amassing millions of views, and with Sav12 recently dropping a mixtape the two of them don’t seem to be going anywhere soon
Essential songs – 12World (Sav12 & S1) – This Beef Can’t Settle
Most recent – MHG (S1) – Pirate Swing
(I’m not a fan.)
23 Drillas – Easily the most popular UK Drill rappers outside of London, 23 Drillas have gained a sizeable fanbase with their charisma, incredibly unique beat choice and Birmingham accent setting them apart from the average London drill artist. Despite the arrests of several of their members including SmuggzyAce, they continue to be one of the most popular groups in the current scene, with SmuggzyAce’s recent mixtape and their Next Up? freestyle propelling their careers onward.
Essential songs – 23 Drillas (K’oz, SmuggzyAce & S.White) – Next Up?
Most recent: 23 Drillas (SmuggzyAce) & ZT (Latts) – Real Drillas
814 – With some of their most popular members being killed in 2016, 814 looked likely to fade into obscurity within the scene. However, this was proved wrong with the emergence of DigDat, whose single “Air Force” became one of the most popular and iconic UK drill songs of all time. As of now, DigDat is easily one of the biggest names in UK Drill, and with other members such as Lil MDot still releasing music, 814’s legacy seems to be living on
Essential songs – 814 (Showkey) – Daily Duppy
Most recent – 814 (DigDat) – Daily Duppy
There are many other artists to look out for and to make it easier for anyone interested and to not make this post super long I’ll list them here with their essential songs with a smaller summary:
C1 – LTH member C1 became known in the scene after releasing a string of quality bangers, and then his song “Hide N Seek” blowing up. With an EP released last year and many tunes on the horizon, he looks set to continue to make waves with his unique flow and excellent beat choice
Essential songs – LTH (C1) – Hide N Seek
Trapx10 – South Norwood based rapper Trapx10, formerly known as TR became relevant in early 2019 thanks to his bangers with drill producer Ghosty, and with a hard mixtape recently dropping along with some great collabs he has carved his own niche in the drill scene
Silwood Nation – Silwood have been on the come up for some time due to their beat selections and songs which use different flows not usually heard in the scene. With rapper Trigga T being incarcerated recently and only T1 dropping music they seem to have a little less traction than they used to
Essential songs – SilwoodNation (A Miz, Trigga T & T1) – Doing Up Work
Abra Cadabra – With easily the most bloodthirsty voice in the scene, Abra Cadabra exploded in popularity with his song “Robbery”, earning him a MOBO award and making him known across the UK. Recently however, he seems to have distanced himself from making drill songs somewhat
Essential songs – Abra Cadabra ft Krept & Konan – Robbery Remix
Burner – In November 2017, a prison freestyle featuring a huge man dissing Harlem Spartans gained traction on YouTube. Once Burner was released from prison the following March, he dropped the freestyle as a full song, and quickly gained a foothold in the scene, although he is known more for his street reputation and size rather than his music.
Essential songs – Burner – Mad Moves
3×3 – Edmonton based 3×3 have recently gained a following due to member E1 constantly dissing dead people and their beef with OFB and NPK, they don’t have that many official songs out however, but they are set to drop more.
Essential songs – 3×3 (E1 & M Splash) – Out Till Late
Frosty – Initially a completely unknown rapper, Frosty dropped his solo track “County Lines” on an unknown YouTube channel, where it managed to gain a huge amount of buzz and became one of the biggest drill songs of 2019, even counting Kodak Black amongst it’s fans. With his recent release from prison and new songs on the way, Frosty looks set to make a huge impact upon the scene although at the current time he only has 2 songs and a freestyle that have been released.
Essential songs – Frosty – County Lines
Reekz MB – Reekz MB gained popularity in 2015 with the release of “Blueprint”, known as one of the greatest solo UK drill songs, and shortly after following up with a great mixtape. However his rise to fame was cut short when he was sentenced to 16 years for multiple shootings and it doesn’t look likely we’ll be getting any more music from him anytime soon.
Essential songs – Reekz MB ft 67 (LD) – No Face
A1FromThe9 – A1 is known for beefing OFB and Abra Cadabra, and his antics along with a string of bangers gained him a lot of popularity in the early scene. Unfortunately, his career was cut short due to being deported to Germany, but with previews of his new music being released and his recent return to the UK, we will see more music from A1 to come.
Essential songs – A1FromThe9 – Opp Niggas (Part 2)
Box12 – 12Anti member Box12 initially became known for his incredibly disrespectful 1011 diss “Play For The Foes” and since then has gained traction by releasing several bangers and showcasing his hard flow and disrespectful lyrics.
Essential songs – 12Anti (Box12) – Play For The Foes
CGE – CGE member S13 has become known in the scene for his flow and hard hitting lyrics, definitely one of the most underrated rappers out there
Essential songs – CGE (S13) x 7th (Broadday & Stickup) – Lightwork Freestyle
86 – 67 affiliated group 86, from Tulse Hill, used to be on the come up in the scene, dropping a number of bangers. However the incarceration of some of their members along with a lot of hate online caused their popularity to drop somewhat. Their youngers go under the name LTH.
Essential songs – 86 (Scrams, ZN, Gunna Grimes, Stampface & Baby R) Ft 67 (LD) – Formation
Section Boyz/Smoke Boyz – One of the first groups to start taking on the Chicago sound in the UK, Section Boyz, originating from Croydon, were heavily influential in the early scene. They incorporated many different sounds into their music, not being specifically a drill group but still heavily influencing the scene and rappers like Swift having their flows become the inspiration for many UK drill rappers even today. Unfortunately, they had to change their name to Smoke Boys due to copyright.
Essential songs – Section Boyz (Inch, Sleeks, Swift, Knines, Deepee & Littlez) – Lock Arff
Richi (MaliStrip) – Leyton based Richi has become known for his unique sounding voice and great beat choice, definitely one to watch for 2020