It’s time once again for Wordplay Magazine’s Album Of The Year! This time we have 14 amazing UK artists who offer a diverse range of vibes, stretching the hip-hop sound to incorporate Spoken Word, Funk, Soul, Grime and more. Here’s how it’ll go:
Wednesday 7th December – Wednesday 12th December:
We’ll be announcing two of the fourteen artists each day. The artists that you want to back will need your support, as the competition is judged by a combination of an elite panel and shares / likes and social support (we want to see who’s creating a buzz).
Thursday 13th December
Our panelists are announced for this years WPAOTY.
Friday 16th December
The final three artists are announced after consulting with our judging panel.
Monday 19th December
At 8pm we will announce the winner! And as we are Wordplay, we’ll be doing this properly as ever with a commemorative piece for the artist and a bunch of goodies!
Tuesday 20th December
An Album Of The Year special podcast will drop featuring tracks from all 12 artists and details of the prizes and props to the winner! Plus an exclusive guest mix from one of the UK’s finest DJs.
SO! Here’s our nominee…..
LAZY HABITS – THE ATROCITY EXHIBITION
Lazy Habits have had an amazing year. From touring across Asia, smashing their UK tour, and releasing their stunning Atrocity Exhibition album, they’ve been claiming the throne for highly skilled musicianship with Jazz, Classical and Hip Hop elements combined to create an unmistakable sound that is thankfully getting love and support across the globe. From songs to visuals to the live show, these guys are seriously on point AND are our final #WPAOTY nomination.
You are the part of the judging panel, if this is your favourite UK album of the year, then share this post, spread the word, and be sure to #WPAOTY (That’s short for Wordplay Album Of The Year!)
This is the last day of the #WPAOTY nominations, so this is it!. Here’s all of our nominees for 2016…
SHAY D – A FIGURE OF SPEECH
Shay D for years has been a dominant name within the London hip-hop scene and beyond. As a lyricist, radio host, spoken word artist, promoter and workshop leader she is a fine example of how the music we all love can REALLY make a difference, Earlier this year she released the complex, powerful and beautifully crafted A Figure Of Speech, which encapsulated so many commonalities and emotions that have been resonating across modern society. Always challenging preconceptions, stereotypes and limitations, Shay D is a must on the #WPAOTY roster.
OCEAN WISDOM – CHAOS ’93
Without Doubt the most anticipated album of the year. Ocean Wisdom exploded onto the scene with the Dirty Dike produced track ‘Walkin’ way back in 2014! Grabbing the attention of Hip Hop, Bass and Grime heads alike. Since then a High Focus Signing and what seemed like an eternity, Chaos ’93 was released in February this year, and it lived up to expectations! Ocean has since tore up live shows all over the country, Europe and headlined Boombap festival with Foreign Beggars, there is no stopping him. There’s no doubt that 2016 was a huge year for Ocean.
JUNGLE BROWN – FLIGHT 314
Maear, MoSik, Ric* and Tony Bones are a fine collective that are surrounded in mystery and intrigue. Releasing their seriously stylish slab of Boomb-bap goodness – Flight 314 in February 2016. As stand up artists in their own right, when JB get together, amazing things happen. Rooted in dusty Hip-Hop vibes, the self released crew have that Tribe-esque swing combined with their own defined sound. Their a seriously worthy addition to the #WPAOTY roster.
VERBAL SKILLZ – OLD MAN RAPPER
Old Man Rapper was released just last month, Verbal Skillz third album yet again doesn’t disappoint with the list of producers, this time featuring heavy weights Apollo Brown, Mr Green, Richy Spitz and Micall Parknsun, there’s even guest verses from the likes of REKS! The focus of the album is as the title suggests; age, but more like a fine wine than past it’s sell by date VS explains why in this fine chunk of new hip hop for 2016..
DABBLA – YEAR OF THE MONKEY
For well over a decade Dabbla has been a force to be reckoned with in the UK scene. As one of the memorable voices in London Zoo (LDZ), Dabbla is, well, dope! With Stephen Hawkins as his biggest fan “I was confused about the origins of life until I listened to his music”, he’s spanned all genres of music, alongside mastering Crochet, eating croquettes and playing Cricket. Whilst single handedly saving the World’s Lucozade supply, Dabbla somehow found the time to create one of the finest UK albums of the year. Released on High Focus, The Year Of The Monkey is varied, creative and offers witty and honest (sometimes) lyrics. It’s well good it is!
COOPS – GOD COMPLEX
Things are getting serious in the #WPAOTY competition, and this nomination is no different. Coops returned in 2016 with this third project, God Complex, offers Coops’ signature chilled and intelligent delivery, with a more introspective approach than his previous projects. God Complex is a more than worthy addiction to the list of nominees. Released in June 2016 on Deadicated, the London based MC has already garnered international support, and support slots all over the place, including the legendary Nas.
THE ALLERGIES – AS WE DO OUR THING
It’s hard to believe that this is their debut album, The Allergies dive in head first and set the pace with a classic sound that has grabbed the attention of BBC 6 Music. Craig Charles even listed AWDOT the album of the day. Fusing breaks, beats, funk, disco and soul, DJ Moneyshot and Rackabeat have released a feel good hip hop album with a much needed vibe!
SKRABL – THE EMPERORS NEW GARMS
When we decided to pick up the Album Of The Year again Skrabl was the first mentioned, a seriously underrated artist who puts effort into his craft. From bars to video production Skrabl’s form is 2nd to none! The Emperors New Garms is a definite contender for AOTY and there should be hardcopies in stockings all over the UK this Christmas – Grab what’s left here
SPLIT PROPHETS – DELTA BRAVO KILO
Since 2011 with the Scribbled E.P., Southwest Split Prophets have been a force to be reckoned with. Having supported the likes of Wu Tang, Preemo, Pete Rock and UK luminaries including Jehst, Klash, Stig and so many more, the S.P. finally re-united in 2016 after working on solo projects to form the Delta Bravo Kilo project (graff crews will know the DBK name well!). With in-house production and no guest features, it shows the Split Prophet’s development and unification. The only guest is Wordplay family member Sammy B Side.
BOODA FRENCH – AWESOME IS EVERYDAY
Booda French has been on the scene for years. Starting off as Truth, and obliterating everyone in his path as a Battle rhymer, over recent years his style has become more reflective and has been quietly amassing a fine collection of tracks with some of the finest producers in the game, including Mecca:83, Micall Parkinson, J57, Ed Boogie and SO many more. Booda has crafted two amazing albums which he’s releasing in short succession. For Wordplay Magazine’s Album Of The Year we’re highlighting the super fresh, diverse and ridiculously on point Awesome Is Everyday.
ORACY – SUTTIN DUBBY
Oracy showed us what a versatile artist she is by releasing Suttin Dubby last August, a perfect way to round up the summer vibes with a mixture of Reggae, Drum and Bass, Jungle and Dubstep. Oracy puts the work in and grows with every release, make sure you grab the most recent album Here
SI PHILLI – THE 11TH HOUR
Si Phili, one half of Phili ‘N’ Dotz and one third of the legendary Phi Life Cypher released his debut album The 11th Hour last March. At 21 tracks deep it’s a huge body of work and includes production from Pete Cannon, Leaf Dog and Richy Spitz. There’s even guest verses from Sizzla and Afu-Ra! The 11th Hour deserves your attention! Cop it here
FLIPTRIX – PATTERNS OF ESCAPISM
Fliptrix, one of the leading lights in the UK scene, one of the infamous Owls, and the founder of the High Focus movement, somehow he finds the time to create a seriously dope solo projects! Late 2016 saw Flipz release Patterns Of Escapism. Entirely produced by Illinformed, and featuring the likes of The Four Owls, Life MC, Kashmere, Dabbla and more. Go get the album here