Complex UK’s Best Songs Of 2021 – Complex

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This time last year, we were recoiling in horror at the thunderstorm of awfulness that had filled 2020 and looking forward to 2021 for what we hoped would be a dramatic improvement. Well, apparently we made that wish on a monkey’s paw because any positives have been balanced out with more nonsense, but of a different breed. We were allowed outside again, but that now hangs in the balance. One of the few unmitigated upsides is that UK music has, yet again, gotten even better.
To summarise: Tion Wayne and Russ Millions scored drill’s first ever No. 1 single with the “Body” remix; grime and UK rap veterans such as Ghetts, Potter Payper and Rimzee got their long overdue flowers; underground stars like M1llionz, V9 and Unknown T reminded us you can chart without compromising on rawness; and ENNY, Little Simz and Cleo Sol gave us some of the finest songs ever written about womanhood. The thing is, picking The Best Song has never been harder, and not just because we’re spoiled for choice. Sure we got to hit the clubs again, but we also spent half the year isolated, taking in new music in our own way, going through our own stuff. So for half the year, things resonated very differently and when we did get to reconnect, we often found it was in really surprising ways. Paradoxically, the best music this year came from both the solemn, soulful jams and the irreverent party-starters—and plenty in-between. In short: it’s been a weird one, but we move.
Check out the songs we were bumping the most this year down below, and to read more or see the official videos just click through the links. The full playlist can be streamed on the flip.

30. Nammy Wams — “Terror
29. Karen Nyame KG f/ Mista Silva — “Koko
28. Nia Archives — “Headz Gone West
27. Tugz — “Nasty Drip
26. KAM-BU — “Black On Black
25. JVCK JAMES — “No Drama
24. Big Zuu f/ Novelist & Jme — “Offline
23. CASISDEAD f/ La Roux — “Park Assist
22. Unknown T — “Goodums
21. Potter Payper f/ Suspect — “Nothing’s Free
20. Pa Salieu f/ slowthai — “Glidin
19. Headie One — “2 Chains
18. M1llionz — “Mobbin
17. BERWYN— “Rubber Banks
16. Bossman Birdie, Big H, Prez T, Paper Pabs & Jme — “Man In Meridian
15. Ghetts f/ Stormzy — “Skengman” 
14. Chip f/ Parker Ighile — “Eskimo Dance
13. Swindle f/ Ghetts, Knucks, Akala & Kojey Radical — “Blow Ya Trumpet
12. Central Cee — “6 For 6
11. Tendai — “Not Around” 
10. Digga D f/ ArrDee — “Wasted
9. V9 f/ Billy Billions — “Hole In One
8. ENNY — “Same Old
7. Loski — “P.U.G
6. DC f/ Knucks — “Bobby & Rowdy
5. Tion Wayne & Russ Millions f/ Arrdee, 3x3E1 & ZT, Bugzy Malone, Fivio Foreign, Darkoo & Buni — “Body (Remix)
4. Rimzee f/ Born Trappy — “Expensive Pain
3. Adele — “Hold On” 
2. Dave f/ Fredo, Meekz Manny, Ghetts & Giggs — “In The Fire
1. Little Simz f/ Cleo Sol — “Woman

Revisit our best songs of 2020 here.
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