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.


Ben Beaumont-Thomas

The GuardianTramp

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