• 5

    Evil Ed ft. Jehst - "Alien"

    Album: The Tournament, Round One Year released: 2000

    It’s worth saving this one for the nighttime. At the turn of the millennium, the sound and personality of U.K. hip-hop was as underground as ever—quite niche alongside the more popular trends of U.K. garage and eventually grime. Evil Ed was one of the original crate-digging producers of the scene, and in 2000 grabbed 21-year-old Jehst, at the beginning of his now veteran-status career, to make this crisp number.

    Jehst is the only artist in this list to feature twice, and for good reason: in a career that has lasted well over a decade, his music has proved to embody the truly poetic, conscious and well-read side of hip-hop culture better than pretty much anyone else from the U.K. On this track, in only two verses he marks an ownership of this style of rapping that remains unchanged today, sealing a neat collaboration.