4th November sees the return of the MOBO awards, the annual Black Music showcase which serves to reward those artists at the top of their game. This year sees some hotly contested categories: Best Newcomer, Best Grime, Best Album & Best Male – all widely unpredictable.

Nonetheless, we feel there are 5 artists repping urban music who deserve their accolades in Glasgow…

1.AJ Tracey (Best Newcomer)

It feels strange calling AJ the Best Newcomer. The West London MC came onto the scene the back end of 2014 and has since made his mark as one of the coldest MCs in London. Give him any beat: skippy, bassy, trap – he will deliver. However, it feels like 2016 has truly been the year where AJ has seen wider recognition for both his work-rate and talent.

Many are now pitting AJ as the future of grime; personally, giving such a title adds unnecessary pressure to an artist. AJ is clearly loving what he is doing, touring the world, releasing banger after banger – a thoroughly deserving winner of a MOBO award!

2.Kano (Best Album)

Kano was unlucky to have fellow grime MC Skepta pip him to the Mercury Award. If you compare the two albums, we believe that Made in the Manor is a more complete project: there’s tracks for the clubs, for the whip, for the girls, for the heads, for the casual fans. There’s tracks which details Kano’s come-up, never heard before stories and anecdotes.

This was the project that really put Kano back at the top of the scene and thus deserves the Best Album gong.

3.Giggs (Best Hip Hop)

Now, we don’t normally cover hip hop/rap here at Resonate Sounds; nonetheless, as fans of Giggs, we could not exclude him from this list. An artist who has transcended the UK rap game, Giggs has never received the mainstream adulation he deserves.

Yes, go to any ends and the name Giggs is widely respected, but it has taken just under 10 years for him to be lauded by the media and industry officials. His album, Landlord, was a massive success and Lock Doh is still shutting down dances as we speak – enjoy your moment Giggs, you deserve it!

4.Chip (Best Grime)

This one, for us, is simple. Grime is about releases, freestyles, clashes. There’s only one MC which has truly, and we mean TRULY, ticked all the boxes in regards to repping grime – CHIP.

He made the scene exciting again with his war dubs, the past 18 months. His work rate in the studio has been undeniable and his freestyles are still as strong as ever. Some may say his views and behaviour distorts opinions, well, we simply don’t care. CHIP ignited the fire back in the grime scene and should be applauded for that at the MOBOs.

5. Skepta (Best Male)

A killer album, killer collabs, one of grime’s first truly big, WORLDWIDE, superstars – Skepta is simply the man of the moment. In our opinion, a lot of the ground work was done in 2014 & 2015 in regards to Skepta claiming the throne as THE guy in the scene. 2016 has been the year where Skepta has reaped the rewards of all he has sown – Mercury winner, Konnichiwa peaking at No2, worldwide recognition.

If there was a guy who was to be the captain of the scene, a guy whose actions, determination and work-rate will influence others, a guy to represent Black music and Black Britain in 2016, then Skepta is THAt guy – THE MAN!

You can catch the MOBOs form 8pm on ITV 2


Written by David Akosim