Wales has a rich music history, from traditional folk songs to modern rock and pop. But in recent decades, the country has also become a hotbed of hip-hop talent.
The genre of hip-hop known as Welsh hip-hop, or Hip-hop Cymru, merges the Welsh and English languages with modern hip-hop techniques. In this article, we'll present you with some of the top talents in the country.
Below you'll find the best Welsh rappers currently impacting the music scene.
1. Sage Todz
Eretoda Ogunbanwo, AKA Sage Todz, is a Welsh rapper who produces both Welsh and English-language music. He was born in Essex, England, but moved to Wales with his family in 2007.
The future rapper spent his childhood in Penygroes, Gwynedd, where he experienced racism and discrimination. He started speaking out about discrimination when he was 15 and producing his first rap tracks.
Sage Todz has a distinct style. He mixes hip-hop, grime, and electronica and isn't afraid to create bold, unique music.
His socially charged lyrics and cutting-edge music technique make him integral to the Welsh rap scene.
2. Dom James
Dom James is a Welsh rapper from Cardiff. He's a newer addition to the country's rap scene, born in 1995, but he's already gaining traction with listeners young and old.
James has released two hit singles, Pwy Sy'n Galw? and Chwila, and has collaborated with artists such as Steffan Cravos, Lloyd, and Mr. Phormula.
He is a regular performer at festivals and events across Wales and has also toured internationally.
3. Rhys Hutchings
Rhys Hutchings is a rapper from Newport, a small town near Cardiff. He is a core member and one of the founders of the popular comedy rap group Goldie Lookin' Chain.
With Goldie Lookin' Chain, Hutchings rose to fame in the early 2000s with distinctive satirical lyrics and quirky humor. Their biggest hit, Guns Don't Kill People, Rappers Do, reached number 3 in the UK charts.
Hutchings and his group are known for their humorous, controversial, and often explicit songs that satirize hip hop, today's consumer society, the chav culture, and life in Newport and South Wales.
4. Mace The Great
Mace The Great is a Welsh rapper from Cardiff, the country's capital. He is known for his energetic live performances and his socially conscious lyrics.
The rapper has released two EPs, My Side of the Bridge and Splottworld, and has collaborated with artists such as Manga Saint Hilare and Kojey Radical.
He is a rising star in the Welsh music scene and released several hit singles in 2023.
5. Mr. Phormula
Ed Holden, AKA Mr. Phormula, gained national attention in 2012 when he became the first artist to rap in Welsh at the MOBO awards. He's known for his bilingual lyrics, live looping performances, and socially conscious lyrics.
He's released two albums, Safe Bet and Be' Ti'n Gweld, which means What You See in Welsh. Mr. Phormula has also gained acclaim through collaborations with artists like Sage Todz and Goldie Lookin Chain.
The musician works to promote bilingual music worldwide, grow the Welsh rap scene, and perform actively at music festivals, nightclubs, and historic stages like The Royal Albert Hall.
He's also been on national radio to promote his causes and share his Welsh-English fusion tracks.
6. Steffan Cravos
Born in Cardiff in 1975, Steffan Cravos grew up in a musical family, and his father was a jazz musician. Cravos started rapping at a young age and gained influence from American artists such as Public Enemy and Run-DMC.
He formed Tystion in 1991 with Gruff Meredith and Al Lewis. The band released their debut album in 1994.
The album was a critical and commercial success, and it helped to establish Tystion as one of the leading Welsh hip-hop bands. After the group disbanded, Cravos started a solo career.
Richard Sheppard, known as Local, is a Welsh MC from Cardiff. He started rapping as a teen and has been releasing music since 2012.
He's famous for his collaborations with Jaykae, a rapper from Birmingham, and has even paired with London's Skepta a time or two.
The rapper takes inspiration from the London and northern England rap scenes, mixing London slang with northern beats and rapping about local Welsh issues.
A vocal critic of the government and the media, Local is a passionate and dedicated artist committed to using his music to make a difference in the world.
8. Leeroy Reed
Leeroy Reed hails from Bridgend, a quaint village between Swansea and Cardiff. Born in 1990, he's of the younger generation of Welsh rappers.
The artist gained attention for his 2012 role in the MTV show The Valleys and used his newfound fame as a platform for his music.
His 2013 single Can't Get Enough found its way onto the UK charts, coming in at the 37th spot. He collaborated with Nagla, creating an electronic dance track with hip-hop vibes.
9. Benji Wild
Benji Wild is a Welsh rapper known for his involvement in the political hip-hop genre or conscious rap. He was born in 1990 and grew up in Cardiff, the country's capital and music hub.
Benji's music is known for its dark, gritty sound and honest lyrics about his experiences growing up in a working-class area of Cardiff. He is a vocal critic of social injustice and has used his music to raise awareness of problems surrounding homelessness, drug use, and mental health.
The rapper has two solo albums, Skull & Bones and Welsh Grime, released in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
10. Saykridd Daly
Saykridd Daly is a Welsh hip-hop artist born and raised in Cardiff. He started rapping at 14 and released his first mixtape Growing Up Daly, in 2013.
The rapper is famous for his electronic, drill-inspired tracks, which blend UK pop with local Cardiff hip-hop sounds. A vocal supporter of the Welsh language and culture, he has collaborated with other local artists like Example, Wretch 32, and Krept & Konan.
He has performed at major festivals such as Glastonbury and Reading & Leeds and released several more mixtapes and albums in recent years, including RapzTaylorSwift, LostBoyz, and The Deep End.
Andrew Major, or Maggot, is a former rapper from Wales. He was crucial in shaping the Welsh rap scene in the early 2000s.
The artist was born in 1976 and grew up in southern Wales, joining the famous hip-hop group Goldie Lookin' Chain in his mid-twenties. He took the stage moniker Maggot and was known for his flashy tracksuits and irreverent attitude.
With Goldie Lookin' Chain, Maggot helped give Wales a voice on the rap scene. Songs like Half Man Half Machine were among the first Welsh raps to make it onto the UK charts.
Maggot left the band in 2014 to pursue a career in finance, but his musical legacy lives on, and the group continues to tour.
Top Welsh Rappers, Final Thoughts
These are just a few of the many talented rappers from Wales. The Welsh hip-hop scene is thriving, and these artists are just a few of the many who are making waves on the national and international stage.
Welsh rap is a vibrant and exciting genre continuing to grow in popularity. So, check out some Welsh rappers the next time you're looking for something new to listen to. You won't be disappointed.