Location: London, U.K.

Not many grime artists floss their time on the honor roll, but 18-year-old Chipmunk is not the average MC. Growing up in North London, he began MCing early—by age 16 he had already dropped a slew of mixtapes and performed a career-launching freestyle on Tim Westwood’s BBC1 show (YouTube views are currently in the millions). Fresh-faced and armed with a cutting rapid-fire delivery, the fiercely independent Chipmunk refuses to sign with a major label, even as his recently released first official single, the hip-hop-flavored “Chip Diddy Chip,” threatens to blast him into the mainstream.

Watch: “Chip Diddy Chip”

Watch: Chipmunk Freestyle on Radio1