10 Tracks which took Urban Music to the Masses in 2018

2018 has been an intriguing and exciting year for Urban music to say the least. Firstly, the term Urban (which is now very loosely thrown around, when previously used mainly to refer to Grime) now encompasses Afro-Swing, Rap and Drill and has established itself firmly in Pop music culture. Alongside ‘Rural’, obviously.

Anyway, whatever we want to call it (wot d’you call it, Urban), it’s very much here and here to stay. And as a festival which champions these sounds and the rising stars behind them, with 2018 coming to a close we thought it was only right that we took a look back at the biggest bangers that made the most noise this year…

1. Check - Kojo Funds ft. Raye

This collab, which sampled Craid David’s legendary ‘7 Days’, hit the Top 40 and and hung around for 22 weeks. Kojo had shown his versatility in making tunes for the ladies previously with Mabel, but he came through and backed it up big time with this single – putting him firmly on the map (and just in time for S&C 2018, to our delight).

2. What I Wanna - MoStack

This feel-good anthem was MoStack’s biggest tune of the year and had a great video to back it up. It’s been a relatively quiet year for Mo, but there is talk of a highly anticipated album dropping in 2019 which we are very excited about. Watch this space…

3. German - EO

For a debut single, a Top 20 hit that’s still banging off in clubs 10 months later isn’t a bad feat. EO didn’t even have a driving licence when ‘German’ was released, but this song put the kid firmly on the map – and we were lucky enough for him to come out as a special guest at S&C last summer. Let’s see what 2019 has in store for him.

4. Vroom - Yxng Bane

Although Yxng Bane has seen top 10 success this year with his feature on ‘Answerphone’, it was this solo release that really stirred things up on the streets – alongside streaming really strongly, making it into the UK Top 40.

5. Jumanji - B Young

This is truly one of THE biggest songs to come out of the genre this year. B Young stormed onto the scene in 2018 and there is no sign of him slowing up. We’ve heard the new music he’s about to push – so let’s just say be ready for some more fire from him very soon…

6. Ay Caramba - Stay Flee Get Lizzy x Fredo x Young T & Bugsey

What can be said about this one then? You’ll all have heard it, so we’ll save our words – if not, a) where have you been?! and b) run the riddim below (we dare you not to be singing along by the end, and for the rest of the day). Some say tune of the summer? We think we agree.

7. Cigarette - RAYE, Mabel, Stefflon Don

When you bring three of the hottest female artists in the game together on the same track, you’re bound to expect some fire – with all pulling out a serious verse on this tune. These artists have often been pitted against each other unfairly because of their gender, but they are all in very separate lanes doing their own thing – and this really showed through when ‘Cigarette’ dropped.

8. Advice - Cadet x Deno Driz

This is the first time we’ve really seen Deno operate independently of his co-d AJ, but teaming up with Cadet again has payed off with a Top 40 tune. Not so bad for someone who’s still too young to drink alcohol. As to whether his voice has broken yet though is still up for debate…

9. Funky Friday - Dave ft Fredo

Maybe the most culturally important song of the year, depending on your music preference. When there was a chance the tune could potentially reach #1 on the official charts, both rappers and most prominent figures in the scene went to social media to ask for support. It’s the first example of real, gritty, unfiltered UK Rap performing to this level. Some other impressive facts about the success of this tune – it’s the first chorus-less song to reach no.1 since Martin Garrix’s ‘Animals’ in 2013, and the only other artist to debut a track at no.1 this year has been Drake.

10. Air Force - DigDat ft. K-Trap Krept & Konan (Remix)

This is a very interesting one for a couple of reasons. Firstly, off the back of the ground-breaking Funky Friday, this is the first Drill song to enter the Top 20. Krept made a valid point reacting to this in his comment on Instagram, about being able to chart without having to worry about getting on mainstream TV or radio (although we’ll never know if this song would’ve made it into the charts without Krept & Konan jumping on the remix…)

But secondly, check out what Giggs had to say about the pair in response to this comment:

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He does not seem happy at all. Does Giggs have a point? Let us know in the comments, along with what you’d pick as your top Urban tracks from 2018!

S&C Festival 2019 takes place on 2019 and will be showcasing the best in Urban, UK Rap, Grime, Afrobeats and much more. Check out last year’s line-up here.

Early Bird tickets are now running low – you can book yours for just £40 on our website.

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