five artists taking brighton’s buzzing hip-hop scene by storm

For a long time, Brighton has had a strong hip-hop scene centred around striking lyricism and old-school instrumentals, with artists like Ocean Wisdom leading the way. But awareness of the scene has generally remained within the walls of the seaside town, with very few artists breaking out onto the national or international stage. As a result, Brighton hasn’t been considered a significant player in UK hip-hop for the majority of the past decade.

But this dynamic is suddenly starting to change, in large part because of the phenomenal rise of ArrDee, who went from local teenage rapper (he grew up in Woodingdean) to global superstar in the space of just 12 months. Unsurprisingly, the ‘Cheeky Chappy’s’ stardom and frequent references to his hometown have drawn an increasing amount of attention to the Brighton scene.

There are countless examples of where the success of one artist creates a snowball effect for the rest of the city: take Atlanta, for example, where the blow-up of Gucci Mane in 2005 led to a whole series of trap artists breaking out to become huge names around the world. It seems as if Brighton has just begun a similar journey. The question is: who’s next?

With more and more hip-hop events popping up around Brighton, it seems the city’s rap fans are trying to find out just that. Many of these nights, such as AGB and ITM, are focused on showcasing Brighton-based talent and shining a light on the newly invigorated scene.

The next AGB event is this Friday, 11th March and has a line-up which exposes all aspects of the local scene, with grime, garage, trap, hip-hop and drill artists all performing on the night and Louie Le Vack (feature image) headlining. Fancy exploring the scene beforehand? Here are five up-and-coming local artists we’d recommend checking out…

Aged just 18, this aspiring south-coast rapper has only been honing his craft for the past year. Z3 was quickly snapped up by local label Revere Records to begin projecting to the masses. Now on his fifth release, he’s already cultivated a keen following and worked with some big names, the latest being a link-up with London artist Yung Fume.
Next performing: AGB2 on Friday, 11th March

After releasing ‘Cold World’, the moody track full of powerful lyricism which reached over 100k streams on Spotify, Dred has only recently started the roll-out of his debut mixtape. The first single, ‘Otis’, promises big things for the rest of 2022.
Next performing: Land Beyond Festival on Sunday, 1st May

Purple City Mobb
PCM, short for Purplecitymobb, is a fresh new collective comprising three Brighton-based artists. TRicKK, Draeko and Nelson Navarro have come together to introduce a whole new sound to the Brighton and UK scene with their interesting and unusual beats.
Next performing: AGB 2 on Friday the 11th March

Despite his short career, Brighton-based artist JED is firmly established in the city’s underground scene. He’s produced music for years, but only became a fully fledged rapper in 2021. Since then, he’s managed to get several of his songs played on multiple radio stations, go from 300 followers to over 3,000 on Instagram and reach 20k streams on the garage banger ‘Gin n Tonic’.
Next performing: AGB 2 on Friday, 11th March

Frankie AB
Another local artist who’s representing the garage side of Brighton’s hip-hop scene with bangers like ‘Jumping’ and ‘Timbuktu’. Frankie continues to make a name for himself and hone in on the summer style.
Next performing: Hidden Motives sets (date tbc)

The next AGB event is on Friday, 11th March – read more here!

Photo credits: Alex Tikhomirov (PCM)