Niall Smith

Afro-dancehall pioneer Ruger on his debut ‘RU The World’: “I didn’t hold anything back”

The Lagos artist – born Michael Adebayo – envisions a free-flowing and experimental world of sound as Ruger

J Hus – ‘Beautiful and Brutal Yard’ review: a triumphant summer blast

On his third album – and first since 2020 – the British-Gambian star taps Drake, Burna Boy and more for a scattershot burst of brilliance

Strandz: bold, uncompromising rap star with the world at his feet

Inspired by his '00s rap heroes, the 'Us Against The World' hitmaker moves with impressive flair between sounds

Mount Westmore – ‘Snoop, Cube, 40, $hort’ review: rap supergroup overstuffed with ideas and personalities

The hip-hop veterans unite for a muddled, but sometimes brilliant, cruise down Sunset Boulevard

Nas – ‘King’s Disease III’ review: hip-hop great delivers compelling conclusion to his album trilogy

The final instalment of the ‘King’s Disease’ series houses punchy Hit-Boy beats that are purpose-built for the New York wordsmith’s dynamic rhymes

Lil Baby – ‘It’s Only Me’ review: a few notches shy of greatness

The sprawling 23-track collection – starring Young Thug and more – shows flashes of the Atlantan star’s finest, and most tedious, traits

Nippa: fast-rising Londoner taking his “hood R&B” sound to the world

Having cemented himself as a sharp songwriter on Craig David’s recent ‘22’ LP, Nippa is now laser-focused on remoulding modern R&B

454: the Florida rap star being championed by Frank Ocean and Denzel Curry

The genre-shifting rapper and skater has earned some big-name endorsements for his music following his 2018 move to New York City

A1 x J1: TikTok-dominating duo crafting an addictive brand of throwback pop-rap

The pals and collaborators – who met via social media during lockdown – are climbing the charts with their slick, sample-heavy hits

ArrDee – ‘Pier Pressure’ review: a concise collection of drill-soaked party anthems

The 19-year-old’s debut mixtape is equal parts a love letter to his Brighton home town and an unflinching tale of self-discovery