J Hus has won album of the year at the fifth annual Rated awards, which celebrate the best of Black British music. The musician’s second album, Big Conspiracy, beat albums including Stormzy’s Heavy Is the Head and Kano’s Hoodies All Summer to the prize.
Host Julie Adenuga said J Hus’s win was down to his originality. “As someone who has probably listened to more music in the last 10 years than I can remember, I’m always excited about the people that are doing something different, unique and authentic. You can’t buy that, no amount of clout or money can create that. I hope Hus continues to deliver in the way he has.”
The executive producer of Big Conspiracy, Jae5 – also known for his work with Dave, Burna Boy, Jess Glynne and Mark Ronson – was named producer of the year.
Stormzy and Manchester rapper Aitch led the nominations with four apiece: Stormzy shared the track of the year award for I Dunno, his collaboration with Tion Wayne and Dutchavelli – the latter was also named breakthrough artist of the year – while Aitch won video of the year for Rain, a collaboration with AJ Tracey and Tay Keith.
The only female winner was Stefflon Don, who beat artists including Little Simz, Ms Banks and Lady Leshurr in the female artist of the year category. The collective D-Block Europe, led by Young Adz and Dirtbike LB, were named male artist of the year. They were the night’s biggest winners, also collecting mixtape of the year for 2019’s PTSD, which reached No 4 on the UK albums chart.
Dizzee Rascal collected the legacy award in recognition of “his contribution to sculpting the sound of grime and changing the face of British music forever”. BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Kenny Allstar won radio DJ of the year and rapper and comedian Chunkz – who cameoed in Big Shaq’s 2017 track Man’s Not Hot – won personality of the year.
Adenuga said she hoped the list of winners would inspire others “to keep pushing in the lanes they’re in. People gravitate to leaders and Black British music is steering the ship.” She called for more support for Black British culture and identity: “It is valuable and rich and should be treated as such.”
The virtual ceremony was hosted by Adenuga and comedian Mo Gilligan and featured performances from artists including Dizzee Rascal, Kano, George the Poet and Abra Cadabra. The Rated awards were founded by British media platform GRM Daily.