Tag > Wiley
Another tweet, another editorial from Chiino.
Grime’s got a problem and its their Godfather. Wiley – yeah, the “…Rolex” guy, that mic man from from Bow who “ate all the Pies”, that Eski-Disco inventer – well he’s only gone and undone everything. The man who stood as one of the pioneers of Grime, the UK’s voice of inner-city youth (not the American’s voice with a British accent), yesterday tweeted “Instead of us calling it grime or rap…. we are all now just uk hip hop ….fuck the names its all one”. Wheel that one up again. “We are all now just uk hip hop”? Have you heard him? After initially dismissing his declaration, I tried to reason with him. He must be going somewhere with this, surely?
Yeah, I hear you lot and your ‘Does genre matter anyway?’ talk. It does here, so you man can all be quiet for a second. Wiley’s got a point – right now, the UK’s urban scene is scattered. Obviously, the Pop and R&B lot are safe; you’re not in the line of fire. We just need to work the rest of these lot out. So you’ve got the bait Pop-Rap (Tinie, Tinchy), then the UK Rap guys (Giggs, K Koke) and the Grime guys (D Double E, JME). They all inhabit the same world because, in some respects, they need each other. The top MCs are all perceived to be the Pop-Rap ones, because that’s the door to financial success, while the Rap and Grime ones are always trying their best to make it there (see Sneakbo and Skepta for details).
You don’t have to sell out to break through (*Wretch 32 voice* ‘Ah yeah’) but the aim is to receive widespread attention for your music. However if we all lump you together as UK Hip Hop, where does that leave us? Lost – that’s where. Wiley, are we talking about if you are UK Hip Hop, or if everyone involved in Grime is? Because there’s no way you can say all these other guys fit. You might be able to do both the Rap and Grime thing, but not many are going with you. Haven’t we confused people enough, before we bring sub-genres into it? Wiley, you were the one who made “Eskimo”, weren’t you? Tell the beatmakers then: ‘Sorry, you’re all Hip Hop producers now. You know all that stuff you did to distance yourself from Garage? Bun it, we’re riding with Roots Manuva and them man now’.
Is it all just a ploy? Now labels are only looking to snatch up UK Rap acts (G-FrSH, Dru Blu) should they all just pretend to be the same thing? Just because you can appreciate another scene or even perform in it, doesn’t mean you have to unify them. There’s already enough MCs (Ghetts, Kano) who hop in between the two, just to see which will eventually get them T4 exposure the easiest. Grime (just like Dubstep, Bassline and Funky) is a strain in the historic line of UK rave heritage. MCs came with it, but so did singers and producers too.
Yeah, the same cultural background might be fuelling both UK Rap and Grime, but they don’t always share their insight. Grime is about raves. Grime is about radio sets. Grime is there to explore the reaches of Electronica. You might not see it, but that is Grime. Just because the MCs come across as the most prominent voices doesn’t mean they should dictate where things are going. If Grime wants to get with Hip Hop, you better hope there’s some UK B-Boys about who are willing to throw their record collection away to bob to Mike GLC, before they get scared off by Discarda. They have to do it quick too, because Eskiboy says he’s moving in.
Wiley, I tried to reason with you, but that UK Hip Hop talk is dead. No one wants any of that Grime-Hop, Grap, Hip-Grime, Brit-Grip-Hop business. There’s enough rappers who can’t spit at 140 and enough Grime MCs who get lost on slow drum kicks, before we force them together. If you just want to be known as a UK MC, it’s live, but Grime and UK Rap each have something to say about it. Listen to “Wot Do U Call It?” again and repeat that tweet, because sometimes diversity is the only way to keep the peace.
Chiino‘s dropping another top 10 for us.
Wiley/Eski Boy/the Godfather of Grime/The Elusive of Roll Deep/Boy Better Know/Eskibeat/A-List/YMCMB(?) is, without doubt, the undisputed champion of the no-show. Whether it’s a photo shoot (like the infamous Roll Deep RWD cover without him) or a live performance (like the time he’s decided that he’d rather wait for a US booking than go to Norway) or a radio appearance (as I’m sure every station in London can relate) you shouldn’t get your hopes up with Wiley Kat. Most of you, however, will know him for his lack of presence in music videos, so here’s a top 10…
1. Rian Peters – “Getaway”  – I don’t know who Rian Peters is, but he looks like the sort to have been utterly heartbroken when the fourth number he had for Wiley didn’t get to him. (Watch)
2. Angel – “Gleamin’” (feat. Maxsta and Wiley)  You kind of want to tell Angel and Max that they were walking right into this. You can give Eski a big role in a tune, but you can’t predict whether he’ll actually show up, when he’s meant to. (Watch)
3. Wiley – “Cash in My Pocket” (feat. Daniel Merriweather)  Don’t think you’re tricking us for a second with this ‘concept video’. Wiley was busy, so you thought we wouldn’t notice that (yet again) he wasn’t going to make an appearance at one of the more important times in his career. You could have just said, man. (Watch)
4. Skepta – “Duppy” (feat. Creed, Footsie, JME, Wiley, Bossman, Jammer, Bearman and Trim)  On one of the best examples of 8-bar Grime, Wiley’s the only one not to have any visual presence in the video (in spite of the fact Footsie clearly didn’t show when he was meant to either). Oh well. (Watch)
5. Bless Beats – “The Rain” (feat. Wiley and Charlie Brown)  This one’s just a mess. Perhaps they asked if Will could stay home so Charlie could get his Justin Timberlake on… or maybe not. (Watch)
6. Jodie Connor – “Now or Never”  – Director: “Yeah, just do a little dance for us and pretend that you don’t care that he didn’t show up”. This is upsetting. (Watch)
8. Lethal Bizzle – “Pow 2011” (feat. JME, Wiley, 2Face, Chipmunk, Ghetts, P Money, Kano)  – The slickest of all the videos, clearly Carly Cussen was told not to wait for Wiley to get back from Jamaica, as you would never have questioned the way his absence was glossed-over here. (Watch)
9. Wiley – Wearing My Rolex  Wiley was the victim to a knife attack just days before he had to shoot a video for this; his only solo top five single. But we prefer the rumour that he’s scared of foxes. (Watch)
10. Kano & Mikey J – “Alien”  (feat. Wiley, Wretch 32 and Scorcher)  Watch this [insert Wiley here] is all that needs to be said. (Watch)
JME – “Sidetracked” (feat. Wiley)  One of the few times where he actually wasn’t needed for the video, although it would have helped. (Watch)
Naughty Boy presents “Never Be Your Woman” (feat. Wiley and Emile Sandé)  One of the rare times when a purposeful concept video with Wiley worked. (Watch)
N-Dubz – “Na Na” (feat. Wiley)  Instead of looking like idiots, these lot just chopped his verse out the song and put Skepta in it instead. Cold. (Watch)
K.I.G. Family – “We’re Rollin’” (feat. Wiley)  I don’t blame him, Funky was embarrassing by the time this one had a video out. (Watch)
Kof (feat. Wiley and Chelcee Grimes)  It’s a good job this Kof guy looks a little like him in this one. (Watch)
MJ Cole & Wiley – “From the Drop”  Enjoy. (Watch)
A trio who have a lot to prove in the UK are Kano, Wiley and Scorcher. The three of them have all had their fair share of success, but – in turn – haven’t been in the good books with their old fan bases. They flick between their past and what got them mainstream attention frequently, thus taking a toll on their public perception. However, it seems that the issues can be forgotten when they all teamed-up together recently (along with recent chart-topper, Wretch 32) to feature on “E.T.”, which is included in Kano & Mikey J’s upcoming mixtape.
“E.T.” finds all four of the MCs proving every doubter wrong, as they come through at full-force over a hyped-up instrumental. Breakbeats, whiney synth and blasting percussion are fused together into forming a raucous backdrop for the spitters. Once they go off on it, we’re made to completely forget about the shaky in-between years, which we’ve had to ignore. “E.T.” is enough incentive to make you pay good money for this new Kano-Mikey J project, so you’ll be confused to hear that it’s going out for free. We don’t see the logic in it, but we see the power in this tune.
(Oh and before you go, pick your best verse, because we can’t).
“E.T.” is out now on free download.
Once again, Chiino‘s come through with his thoughts on the current state of UK music.
The UK Urban scene is in crisis. Nobody knows who they are, who they’re meant to be, or what’s expected of them. One minute they’re the voice of the hood, the next they’re the mascot to Euro Dance music. Music which they would have laughed at is now acceptable because they’re “mature” now. They still haven’t decided on a good name yet, either. For that very reason, we’re going to have to put up with N-Dubz being labelled as ‘Grime’, Skepta as ‘Rap’ and Giggs as ‘Urban’. If you lot can’t nail it down, why do you expect T4 presenters to? Here’s what the issue is and why we need to straighten things out.
How far down the line are we with this UK Urban thing? Well RWD Mag turns 10 this year, so let’s say around a decade. In that time, we’ve had loads of people come and go. They had the big, bad American Hip Hop and R&B world to template the ideal industry they’d like. After a few false starts (with people leaving after a couple of years in the limelight) we’ve had some major breakthroughs. Dizzee Rascal, Tinchy Stryder, Chipmunk and Tinie Tempah are now all household names. You’re probably aware of Wretch 32, Professor Green and Devlin now, too. However, a lot of people may be wondering why exactly the people these musicians are supposed to be representing, aren’t always on their side – it’s all down to the inconsistency.
In America, you know what you’re getting with each artist. They’re branded well and when moving from street singles to mainstream hits, uphold certain elements to maintain their fan bases. Over here, it’s a little different. In England, it’s a given that any MC comes from spitting greeze and now most of them are now in pursuit of that #1 single – no matter what it takes to get there. The mentality is: ‘If my mate from around the way can get it, why can’t I?’. It’s not about the music of the artistic vision, just the best balance of these to get to that point quickly. You’ve got Scorcher and his messy movements. The one-time master of the shank bars has gone from featuring on Pop singles to revisiting Grime classics, to doing the ultimate sell-out please-the-label flop. Skepta – Grime’s original Rookie of the Year – now fumbles from one attempted breakthrough track to another. He reckons he’s the UK’s 50 Cent too, but these questionable decisions keep setting him further back from his initial fans. Recently-signed Griminal will probably be the same… and the examples don’t end.
We’ve got MCs who’ve stayed consistent over the years, but haven’t been able to break through because of all this back and forth nonsense. If people like Durrty Goodz, Black the Ripper and Newham Generals were given the platform they deserved all that time ago, we probably wouldn’t have to deal with all this. Ghetts and Dot Rotten probably wouldn’t be getting flack now, if they knew someone with a leading role could do it big without having to work with Cher Lloyd. It’s taken success stories like Wretch 32’s to prove that there is hope, but there’s clearly a fair few who aren’t willing to let the years pass by any longer. The attitude of ‘I’ll give you a couple of old-style tunes for free, in exchange for you buying my crap one’ has gone on for too long.
It’s just like them ‘free before 10pm’ clubs. You go in with plenty of time. Later, one of your mates turns up at 11.15pm. You go out to meet them, then get back to the club and have to pay, because they didn’t stamp your hand on the way in. The scene we’re dealing with is young and naive. They only take interest for a handful of years, so if you go back too late, don’t expect everyone to take an interest. Say that ‘club’ Grime, 10pm was commercial success, 11.15pm was when your third single didn’t do as well as the others and that payment was the realisation you can’t make it without your old fan base. It happens with every single artist who’s gone through this path. Unless you’re cool with all the bouncers (the DJs) along the way, you’re gonna have problems re-aligning yourself back into each fan base. You either dismiss them or end up in an endless cycle of disappointment.
Are we any closer to finding the UK Urban world’s identity? I wouldn’t say so. From the moment that the figureheads of a scene jump ship, the rest comes crumbling-down. We know where we stand with all the ones who ‘made it’. They’ve gone. We won’t be seeing you lot again (not that we wanted it to be this way). Yes, we’re got our little break-off scenes, which we’re happy with, but only MCs like Wiley have been able to cling onto each aspect of the industry. Dizzee and the rest of the Bow alumni aren’t in the same position though. We’re all up for progression, in fact, it’s encouraged. Just bare in mind that if you’re one person one minute and another the next, no one will buy into you.