Combining the diversity of Britain’s rich Black musical tradition into an eclectic hip-hop fusion, AJ Tracey charted a back-to-the-futurist trajectory to help recast the UK rap soundscape in the 2010s. Born Ché Wolton Grant in Brixton, London in 1994, his father was an Afro-Trinidanian former rapper and his mother was a Welsh pirate DJ. Tracey dropped out of a degree in criminology to pursue music full-time in 2014. His 2016 collaboration with Dave, “Thiago Silva”—a rejuvenation of Ruff Sqwad’s legendary grime riddim “Pied Piper”—played a pivotal role in grime’s mid-2010s renaissance. Tracey turned to his Caribbean roots for his solo breakout “Butterflies” in 2018 and evinced an eclectic savvy with his self-titled debut album in 2019, tastefully coalescing soca, grime, UK garage, and country into a versatile British synthesis typified by the 2-step wonder “Ladbroke Grove.” The nostalgic throwback to millennial Britain highlighted UK garage’s enduring esteem while demonstrating Tracey’s flair for modernizing British club tradition, an aptitude he testified to with “Dinner Guest,” a revisiting of DJ MK’s remix of Nightcrawlers’ “Push the Feeling On,” and the 2-step smash “West Ten” in 2020. Summoning the sounds of London, past and present, into vibrant, forward-looking hits, AJ Tracey is a standard-bearer for contemporary Black British music.