The Tip-Off: Black Josh

Spotify Legend

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Boom bap x gritty lyricism + northern hip-hop = Black Josh.

Hailing from Manchester’s thriving underground scene comes a promising emcee in the form of Black Josh.

Inspired by watching MTV Raps! with his Grandad, the first song he learned by heart was Busta Rhymes’ “Woo-Hah!! Got You All in Check”.

The combination of his Mancunian accent and his versatile delivery over boom bap style beats makes for an interesting lesson. I’d even go as far as to say that Josh’s aura on a track is reminiscent of the golden age of hip-hop. There’s no braggadocio either; just grit and honesty.


As the founder of the Ape Cult crew, that boasts homegrown talent such as Metrodome and Truthos Mufasa, and as a member of Manchester’s very own Levelz collective, it’s easy to see why he’s got the support of his city in the bag.  


On his most recent solo project, Brexit, Josh hazily muses, offering his own cultural discourse steadily over variations of UK trap music. Interestingly enough, the mixtape remains partial by steering well away from any serious political discourse. Well, it’s probably for the best.

The influence of 90s hip-hop definitely translates into his music, from his complex rhymes to his laid-back diction and adeptness.

The anthemic “Paul Scholes” (from 2014’s #blahblahblackjosh mixtape) is somewhat reminiscent of Souls of Mischief’s “93 til Infinity”, demonstrating how Josh has a knack for proving his competence to execute rhymes perfectly on any beat that gets thrown at him.



Although I’ve only recently discovered Black Josh, his quick witted wordplay provides a perfect soundtrack for unwinding at the end of a long week.

Monthly Listeners in Spotify: 13,960

Hometown: Manchester
Would fit best in a playlist called: Mellow Trip Hop
3 Related Artists: Ocean Wisdom, Lee Scott, Dabbla
Spotify Artist Page:


Nice Tip-Off, @simonew. Some seriously good British Hip-Hop does still exist, it seems. I really like this guy after a few tracks.

Wonder what ever happened to Paul Scholes?...

Spotify Legend

Great Tip-Off, @simonew!

Community Legend

very nice @simonew