I recently spoke to someone who believed that the UK rap scene was dying in the charts and that the popularity of it was slowly decreasing. Yes 2013 was a very low key year for UK rap within the mainstream. Since 2008/9 UK rappers have dominated the charts both on the albums and singles chart’s however in 2013 that was very much restricted too just Tinie Tempah having a top 10 album.
Acts such as Chip, Wretch 32, Tinchy Stryder, Skepta, Professor Green and N-Dubz duo Dappy and Fazer not releasing many tracks that have been available to chart. It leads the question of where actually is the UK scene at the moment.
Has the scene hit a lull with Tinie Tempah’s numbers nowhere near as monstrous debut album and Wiley having a few single’s that have entered the top 10 this only adds to the perception that there could be a plateau being experienced. However with acts such as K Koke, Sneakbo charting and Krept and Konan’s Young Kingz mixtape charting inside the top 20 it could potentially set up the scenes most productive year within 2014 with many acts coming back and many up and coming acts building on their 2013 success.
With new albums being released in 2014 from many rappers that are “household” names it will only be then that we could judge how popular these artists still are after reviewing theirs sales in comparison to previous releases. This is always a risky route to take as mainstream listeners are very quick to get bored and move onto the next big thing whether that be in this genre or another. Tinie Tempah had a a big gap from releasing his debut album to his sophomore album and the sales show a big difference between the two. However I do believe that the scene will get stronger and more artists will come through this year as well as returning acts will do well and could make 2014 the most impactful year in terms of chart positions and sales.