Thursday, 28 September 2017

Wiley "Godfather" (2017)

 Grime continues to grow bigger and I'm short of excuses, its about time I dived into another artist besides Dizzee Rascal and what a place to start! Its veteran Grime MC Wiley's eleventh album since his debut back in 2004 and Godfather is clearly the product of a master at work. At thirty eight years old Wiley brings a heavyweight of experience and craft to his rhymes, elevating the style beyond the street swagger and dialectic eccentricity Grime MC's rely on to a place of true substance. There's barely a word wasted across fifty four minutes of filthy banging beats and beefed up energetic raps with plenty to say.

Wiley's voice dominates the record with the sharpest flow and wit but he also brings over a dozen friends to feature on the tracks creating a wealth of variety as they handle some of the hooks and choruses too. Everyone brings their best and the same can be said of the instrumental production, lively, loud obnoxious beats with groove and attitude command your attention. The album vibes on dark and grizzly atmospheres with violent, menacing beats echoing the sound of London's streets. Slick mafioso strings rub up against dirty buzzing baselines and gunshots litter the gaps between sturdy, crisp, hard hitting kits that lay down tight patterns to anchor the rhymes and instruments together on the same wavelength.

Its one banging track after the next, the foot is never let of the gas and Wiley's sharp, concise flows make it easy to follow his train of thought as he slides in plenty of technically gifted trickery, sliding in bursts of double tempo words. Between the boisterous status affirming stances loaded with smart word play a couple of remarkable messages emerge, the story of the come up plays on "Speakerbox" stating the struggle origin artists like Wiley went through to make Grime happen and set the stage for future generations who can now do this without help from record labels. "Laptop" tells a more personal story of the hard work and grind centered around the love of making music on his MacBook.

Godfather scratched itches that modern Hip Hop hasn't come close to in recent memory bar Kendrick Lamar. Although the album is strictly Grime, "U Were Always Great" has a fantastic instrumental reminiscent of Jazz Hop summer time chill outs. Its all positives although a fairly predictable streak of materialism runs through on tracks like "Name Brand" given the fashion culture around the scene. The track "Bang" plays with fire as guest MC Ghetts goes spitting with an overtly aggressive tone that avoids being to much to bare. The strong instrumental holds it together and I'm left walking away from this one itching for more. The question is what Grime record should I pickup next?

Rating: 8/10
Favorite Tracks: Bring Them All, Joe Bloggs, Bang, U Were Always Part 2,