Wireless have just announced the first wave of acts for this year’s festival and, judging by the fact it sold out in about three seconds, it’s a pretty good lineup.
So you’ve got your tickets, you’re excited for Stormzy, can’t wait to shout ‘VERSACE’ 200 times when Migos perform, and you’re even hopeful that DJ Khaled’s ‘Friends’ will be people you’ve heard of. But what about earlier in the day? Who the hell do you go and see when you turn up at 1pm after necking 3 cans of Carling at the gate? Well, don’t worry! We’ve picked our top five smaller acts to see, so you don’t have to worry about watching someone stumble over subpar lines whilst wearing knockoff Versace clothing.
Raw London rap in the style of Section Boyz, 67 are one of the biggest names in UK drill at the moment, and it’s not hard to see why. Tracks like the Giggs featuring ‘Let’s Lurk’ hit with the same force as ‘Talkin The Hardest’ did back in 2008. Unfiltered and completely lacking in polish, 67 give a voice to the seedy underbelly that birthed grime fifteen years ago.
UK Rap’s man of the moment, Birmingham-born Mist is a storyteller of the highest order. A slower delivery than grime, coupled with often sparse production, lend a weight to his lyrics not often felt in the UK rap scene. He raps in an unashamedly Brummy accent too, giving a much-needed respite from London’s usual dominance.
Ski Mask the Slump God
Want to hear vocal acrobatics from one of the most unique rising stars in trap? Ski Mask is your man. His lyrics are a combination of Cartoon Network and Babestation, with some of the standard drug and gun references thrown in for good measure. But what really sets Ski Mask apart is his voice, a deep, husky drawl which doesn’t seem to conform to any of the usual rules of rhythm or tone. He also has lyrics like ‘My bitch she hot/ Hot like a stove/ Hot like my piss/ When it smell old’. We aren’t specialists, but Ski Mask, if you’re reading this you may want to see a doctor.
We know, we know. Ramz has released the first massive hit of 2018 with ‘Barking’ so he isn’t exactly unknown. But he still isn’t at the level of J. Cole or Wiley, so we’re counting him as lesser known, ok? With that out of the way, check out ‘Barking’ by Ramz. It’s currently pretty much his only song, and will get stuck in your head from now until July. Then you can see him at Wireless and start the cycle all over again.
Smokepurpp has been signed by Travis Scott. That should be enough to get you on board, but if not, listen to ‘Fingers Blue’, which features Scott and is an absolute banger. Soundcloud rappers often get overlooked and labeled as gimmicky, but Smokepurpp looks like he might have the staying power that his peers sometimes lack.
We’ve also put together a Spotify playlist with one of our favourite tracks from each artist announced so far, which you can check out below. Consider it our gift to you. No really, put your wallet away, it’s free.
Wireless 2018 takes place July 6-8 and is pretty much completely sold out. Sorry to get you excited if you didn’t have tickets.