FRUKT - Female MCs To Watch In 2024
The ascent of Cristale has been nothing short of meteoric. Kicking off 2023 with a charged back-to-back freestyle on Fumez’ Plugged In series alongside Teezandos, which has garnered over 7m views since its release, she cemented her standing with one of the most intricate, yet effortless sounding flows to touch a drill beat since the genre’s inception. This almost immediately began her transition to the mainstream, followed by a feature in Nike & The Lioness’s campaign on GRM, and culminated in a noteworthy appearance on Top Boy. 2024 is surely Cristale’s year.
ShaSimone is an artist defying categorisation with an eclectic sound marked by instrumentals that venture into uncharted territories. From her smash hit ‘I Know You Wanna’, gliding over a beautiful instrumental with an ever-so-slightly 50 Cent-inspired sound, to delving into a (sort of) drill pocket with 'Played Out', ShaSimone is a sonic chameleon, pushing the boundaries of conventional rap norms.
2023 saw the return of Blasian Baddie, formerly known as Kaede, whose boastful delivery, cheeky punchlines and bilingual lyrics earned her a collaboration with Kwengface early in the year, before securing her a coveted spot on Nike and Lioness’s campaign.
BXKS (pronounced Becks) emerged this year with a sound that feels somehow futuristic and nostalgic at the very same time. A true MC, her lyrics are just conscious enough to make you pause, while her effortless flow is vibesy enough to burn down an East London house party. Her production draws inspiration from garage, grime and 8-bit, and the production on her tracks features synths and sounds that would feel at home in a space-age dimension. Recent release 'Back it Up' perfectly encapsulates this sonic dichotomy.
Following a string of viral TikToks at the end of 2023, Chy singlehandedly increased sales of lobster in restaurants across the UK before her track "Bossed Up' even dropped (which features a verse referencing the crustaceans!). The track became a UK classic as soon as soon as it was released, with conversational flows mixed with scathing delivery that was somehow endearing, rude and motivational all at the same time. The unique visuals that accompanied it (credits to Florian Joahn) added a bit of je ne sais quoi to her aesthetic, and cemented her as an artist to watch.
Failing to fit the UK rap stereotype, Cee Chyna quickly made a name for herself for her smooth, effortless delivery, wrapped in an accent more polished than other familiar voices in the genre. Her music caught the attention of the US too, and she soon found herself linking up with NLE Choppa and doing shoots for Vogue. With her hands in numerous pots already at such a young age, 2024 is sure to be an exciting year for her.
Afia is the definition of quality over quantity. She entered the scene a year ago with her explosive 'Straight Drop' freestyle, filled with complex wordplay and oozing with confidence. Since then, she's been building her presence almost exclusively on TikTok. A month ago she followed up with AnB, an absolute banger released collaboratively with Blasian Baddie. While we’d call her one to watch for 2024, we’re not even sure if we’ll get a single this year, but ey, here’s to hoping.
Shay D, much like Central Cee, isn’t a newcomer in any sense of the word. An active member of the UK scene for close to a decade, she's built a loyal fanbase from the ground up, organising her own shows at venues like Jazz Cafe and Sadler’s Wells with the Lyrically Challenged Collective. In the past couple of seasons she's released numerous projects, which included features from the likes of P Money and Capo Lee, and has finally been getting the recognition she so rightly deserves from the wider scene.
Sauc3e’s blend of sultry melodies and casually-delivered semi-conscious punchlines cause a unique mixture of calm and discomfort, which make for an addictive combination in music. Beginning the year with her Pierre Bourne-esq singles 'Baddie' and 'I Wanna Purcha$e', she went on to demonstrate her versatility with an RnB-ish collaboration with Ha$sy, and a bouncy number with Charmzyy. She finished 2023 with the introspective 'Lick Back', the perfect way to round off the year.
It’s safe to say that Jayahadadream had an incredible last year. After a relentless stream of singles following the pandemic, Jaya got the attention of Wordplay Magazine at the start of 2023, releasing the silky smooth ‘Butthurt Men’ through them. She quickly followed it with a 1Xtra appearance on Sir Spyro’s show, before ending the year with the somber ‘Feeling Like’ alongside Walulu, amassing an impressive 200k views on her channel.