Wiley: The Godfather review – grime originator delivers a blockbuster

(Chasing the Art)

Not only did he help invent grime back in the early noughties with his frostbitten take on garage production, Wiley was one of the few to successfully transition into pop. And with grime now back in the zeitgeist, his demeanour on this blockbuster album is of a foreman nodding with satisfaction as he looks across a building site – if they’re not already guesting on it, Wiley is praising his fellow UK MCs almost every other bar. A streak of high-gauge shellings are a reminder of his own prowess as a club rapper, the peak being Back With a Banger, with precision-tooled syllables over a speed-garage beat from Preditah, flowing into the equally nimble Joe Bloggs. And while it might not be radically progressive, there’s still room for curios such as Laptop, a pretty love song to his Macbook Pro; U Were Always, Pt 2, a Drake-influenced ballad about woman trouble – though naturally Wiley’s arguments are happening in Nando’s rather than Cheesecake Factory; and My Direction, with its surprisingly vibey use of a clarinet.

Contributor

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Wiley: Godfather II review – crisp grime bangers keep the don afloat
The grime master is endearingly honest about his past ills but ironically best when he’s most poppy on this follow-up

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

27, Apr, 2018 @8:00 AM

Article image
Dizzee Rascal: Raskit review – the grime kingpin reclaims his crown
Returning to a pop world in which the music he pioneered is huge, Dizzee has gone back to basics with a stripped-down album that shows off his lyrical skills

Alexis Petridis

20, Jul, 2017 @11:00 AM

Article image
Wiley review – grime's graceful godfather cements his reputation
On the night the Brit awards celebrated grime, the genre’s originator shows how his uniquely off-kilter flow facilitated its success

Daniel Dylan Wray

22, Feb, 2018 @11:36 AM

Article image
Georgia: Georgia review – hyperactive grime-pop with an emotional punch
Georgia Barnes’ bedroom-produced debut is a riot of sounds that is subtle and overwhelming by turns

Tim Jonze

06, Aug, 2015 @9:00 PM

Article image
Oxide & Neutrino: how we made Bound 4 Da Reload (Casualty)
‘There was a rise in gun crime and garage was blamed. We went from being on Top of the Pops to not being able to play anywhere. Then I was shot’

Interviews by Dave Simpson

29, Jan, 2019 @6:00 AM

Article image
Big Narstie: BDL Bipolar review – baggy comedy/grime mashup
The comedian, chatshow host and MC’s overlong debut is surprisingly out of step with too many saggy skits

Rachel Aroesti

06, Jul, 2018 @8:30 AM

Article image
Jungle, garage and grime: 20 years of Rinse FM
Rinse FM has gone from edgy pirate radio station to mainstream presence taking over the charts. Twenty years after it began, how can it keep its edge? Alex Macpherson finds out

Alex Macpherson

27, Nov, 2014 @3:30 PM

Article image
Ghetts: Ghetto Gospel: The New Testament review – pushing grime forward
The east Londoner’s second album is a reminder that grime is more than threats and braggadocio, in articulate tracks moving the genre forward

Rachel Aroesti

14, Sep, 2018 @8:30 AM

Article image
Novelist: Novelist Guy review – young grime star shows his social conscience
MC pays tribute to the scene’s old guard while bringing in new lyrics about masculinity and politics

Kieran Yates

13, Apr, 2018 @8:30 AM

Article image
Party politics: why grime defines the sound of protest in 2016
From Skepta’s anarchist tattoo to Stormzy’s takedown of David Cameron, it’s tempting to see 2016 as the year that grime finally got political – but the truth is that it always has been

Dan Hancox

18, Feb, 2016 @6:35 PM