The 2016 MOBO awards are taking place on Friday 4th November in Glasgow and the show looks like it will be one of the best yet.
The award show, often criticised for shunning the underground scene in favour of celebrating commercial and mainstream acts, has this year curated a much more exciting and relevant list of categories and nominees. This year there’s not a Jessie J or Sam Smith in sight as the nominee list includes emerging favourites such as Shakka, Ray Blk, 67 and Abracadabra. Possibly influenced by the emergence and popularity of the Rated Awards, the chart success of acts like Kano and Wretch 32 and the worldwide impact and recognition of an artist like Skepta, the MOBOS have reacted and finally embraced the emerging underground scene.
Here we have picked who we would like to see pick up the awards. We should note that everyone nominated deserves recognition, this list only reflects our own personal preferences!
BEST MALE ACT
NOMINEES: Craig David, Kano, Skepta, Tinie Tempah, Stormzy
OUR WINNER – SKEPTA!
What more can we say that hasn’t already been said?! Massive impact across the world, a joint show with Kanye, collaborations with Drake, Konnichiwa hitting number 2 in the charts, shutting down shows world-wide and now winning the coveted Mercury Award Prize! There’s only one winner. Skepta showed us how to win on our own terms and we wrote all about it here!
BEST FEMALE ACT
NOMINEES: Lady Leshurr, Katy B, Laura Mvula, Little Simz, Nao
OUR WINNER – LADY LESHURR!
It’s about time Leshurr got some real recognition. This lady has been on the scene for a while now and has really come into her own this year. Her Queen’s Speech freestyles have over 70million views on youtube and she’s been shutting down festivals all across the country. Leshurr has a real loyal following and has been feeding them good quality content consistently. She’s one of the best but doesn’t always get the credit she deserves. Leshurr, we are rooting for you!
NOMINEES: 67, AJ Tracey, Avelino, Izzy Bizu, Mostack, Kojey Radical, Nadia Rose, Ray Blk, Anne-Marie, WSTRN
OUR WINNER – WSTRN!
Hard category as there’s a range of nominees who have all achieved great things. AJ Tracey has had a great year and won best breakthrough at the Rated Awards, 67 have owned the underground and Avelino has proved he can go bar to bar with Wretch 32 on the Young Fire Old Flame mixtape. In addition Ray Blk was our pick for best breakthrough in our Rated Awards preview. But here we are going to go for WSTRN. They wrote one of the tracks of the year in IN2, have followed it up with banger after banger. These guys have made a genuine impact in the mainstream and the underground and for that reason, IN2 should take Best Newcomer.
NOMINEES: Laura Mvula ‘The Dreaming Room’, Giggs ‘Landlord’, Kano ‘Made In The Manor’, Michael Kiwanuka ‘Love & Hate’, Skepta ‘Konnichiwa’
OUR WINNER – KANO ‘MADE IN THE MANOR’!
In our Rated Awards prediction piece we hoped ‘Made In The Manor’ would take the award and gladly, it did. The album is verging on a classic. Kano delivers top class story telling over innovative production. The album takes you on a journey and almost forces you to reflect and reminisce. Songs like ‘Lil Sis’ and ‘Stranger’ are so relatable and Kano delivers true classic singles in Roadman Hymn, 3 Wheel Ups and Garage Skank. The album is so good that we dedicated a whole article to it here.
BEST HIPHOP ACT
NOMINEES: Giggs, Section Boyz, Little Simz, Wretch 32, Fekky
OUR WINNER – WRETCH 32!
This is another hard category to pick a winner. All the nominees have had a solid year but we have to single out Wretch 32. In the last year he’s dropped the ‘Young Fire Old Flame’ mixtape with Avelino, produced two really good Fire In The Booths and topped it all off with a masterpiece of an album ‘Growing Over Life’. The story telling on the album, and the tackling of race issues, makes is a must listen. It’s a body of work that has been celebrated thus far but the content will unravel and resonate with people for years to come.
NOMINEES: Craig David x Big Narstie “When The Bassline Drops” (Produced by White N3rd), Kano Feat. Giggs & Wiley “3 Wheel-Ups” (Produced by Swifta Beater), Tinie Tempah Feat. Zara Larsson “Girls Like” (Produced by NANA ROGUES), WSTRN “In2” (Produced by PRGRSHN for PARALLEL), Jorja Smith “Blue Lights” (Produced by Joice), Naughty Boy Feat. Beyoncé & Arrow Benjamin “Runnin”(Produced by Naughty Boy), Abra Cadabra Feat. Krept & Konan “Robbery (Remix)”(Produced by Yamaica), Chase & Status Feat. Frisco “Funny” (Produced by Chase & Status), Ghetts – “You Dun Know Already” (Produced by Sir Spyro), M.O “Who Do You Think Of” (Produced by FRED), J.Hus “Friendly” (Produced by J5), Lethal Bizzle “Wobble” (Produced by Diztortion)
OUR WINNER – GHETTS ‘YOU DUN KNOW ALREADY’!
Another hard one! There’s many worthy winner in the 12 nominations. I’ve enjoyed Kano’s ‘3 Wheel Ups’, WSTRN’s ‘IN 2’ and Abracadabra’s ‘Robbery (Remix)’ but personally, it has to be Ghetts with ‘You Dun Know Already’! The energy in the track is infectious. There’s been many times this year when I’ve been casually driving and then put this song on. From then i’m definitely driving that little bit faster and turning the volume a little bit louder! This is a real banger from Ghetts who’s had a really good year overall.
BEST R&B/SOUL ACT
NOMINEES: Nao, James Blake, Michael Kiwanuka, Laura Mvula, Shakka
OUR WINNER – SHAKKA!
I’ve been a fan of Shakka since the Shakka Crown Affair mixtape back in 2011 and played a few gigs on the same line-up back in 2012. Even back then I could see that Shakka was a special talent and that really shone amongst all the other artists on the live circuit. His song ‘Take Our Time’ is probably one of my favourite songs ever and over the last year he’s released and featured on some real quality tracks. Shakka performed a headline show in Koko last week and his latest track ‘I Love The Way’ featuring Mr Vegas made our September playlist and is absolutely heavy!
BEST GRIME ACT
NOMINEES: AJ Tracey, Kano, Chip, Skepta, Stormzy
OUR WINNER – CHIP!
Chip has had a great year. Over the last couple of years he’s gone from 0-100 as we wrote about here. Chip has provided some of the best moments over the last 2 years in UK music, and had the internet on the edge of its seat several times. He’s recorded some legendary diss tracks while reminding us how good he is at making tunes, regardless of the genre. Other than Skepta, there’s no one that’s done more for the Grime scene in the last year than Chip. And for that reason, he needs to win Best Grime Act!
Who do you think should take away the awards?
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