Drill rap dominates 2021 Rated awards for Black British music

The vitality and pop cultural dominance of drill rap has been celebrated at the 2021 Rated awards, which acknowledge the best in Black British music.

Central Cee, the London drill rapper whose track Commitment Issues is one of the UK rap scene’s biggest hits this year, won male artist and breakthrough artist of the year awards, in the week he will likely return to the Top 10 with new single Obsessed With You.

Tion Wayne and Russ Millions also won two awards, for track and video of the year. Their collaboration Body, later enhanced with a viral remix featuring a host of guest stars, became the first ever No 1 in the drill genre in May. Another highly respected drill figure, M1onTheBeat, won producer of the year.

Jorja Smith, the soul and R&B singer who released the acclaimed EP Be Right Back in May, was named female artist of the year. Grime veteran Ghetts won album of the year for Conflict of Interest, which was also nominated for this year’s Mercury prize. East London rapper Potter Payper won mixtape of the year for Training Day 3, which reached No 3 in the UK charts.

Charlie Sloth won DJ of the year, while YouTube comedian Niko Omilana – who ran for London mayor with pledges such as “Boris Johnson will be forced to shush” – was named personality of the year.

UK garage group Heartless Crew were given the Legacy award, and performed at the streamed ceremony, as did Tion Wayne, Potter Payper, Pa Salieu, Backroad Gee, Enny and Amia Brave. The awards, organised by the music and video platform GRM Daily, were hosted by supermodel Jourdan Dunn and comedian Michael Dapaah, the latter a replacement for Idris Elba who was forced to isolate due to coronavirus.

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