the mercury music prize

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Scottish hip-hop is a thing — and it’s incredible

A lot of big names competed for this year’s Mercury Prize, the biggest music award in the U.K. Damon Albarn, of Blur and Gorillaz fame, was one of its frontrunners, alongside indie staple Bombay Bicycle Club and FKA Twigs, the heavily favored Pitchfork darling.

People were surprised, then, when a little-known Scottish hip-hop group called Young Fathers took home the prize for Dead.

And they’re not only ones making a splash

Grime star Skepta has beaten the likes of David Bowie, Radiohead and The 1975 to win the Mercury Prize.

He was recognised for the self-released album Konnichiwa, which tackles police harassment and his anger at British politics.

Described by the NME as a “landmark in British street music”, the record went to number one earlier this year.

“We really did make Konnichiwa for ourselves,” he said. “It’s all done in my bedroom, straight to the people.”