Despite announcing that his 2014 album Snakes & Ladders would be his final album, Wiley is back with his eleventh studio album.
Godfather, the title of the 2017 release, is said to officially be his final work. Wiley has announced on his twitter that he has now finished trying to work for the underground genre and that it is now “up to the next generation” to continue building on his graft.
Wiley has said that the inspiration behind this album comes from emerging grime artists. An interesting concept is the title of this LP. Wiley is known as the “Godfather of Grime”, after his use of heavy eskibeats. This mix of dance and electro beats on the garage style, the “Eskiboy”, as he is also known, started the grime genre.
In this album, Wiley goes back to his roots. It’s strictly grime, and not at all filtered with pop. This might make it harder for the music to go mainstream. But then again, “easy success” into the mainstream like fellow grime artists Skepta and Stormzy have achieved might not be on Wiley’s bucket list.
Lyrically, it does not disappoint, either. He raps about his tough upbringing and life. However, more than that, he alludes often to how he is referred to as the “Godfather of Grime” and how he’s worked so hard. This crops up in many of the songs, specifically in his collaboration with Devlin on Bring Them All/Holy Grime. Other collaborations include Skepta on U Were Always, Pt 2. Much like Skepta, he raps in a breathless fashion in Can’t Go Wrong and Birds n Bars.
The album is perfect for any fan of grime, and a suitable introduction to anyone who wants to hear the latest, raw grime. For those who don’t like clean grime, this well-produced work might be slightly overwhelming. It is, however, the perfect leaving gift from Wiley to the world.