Godfather has been out for just over two weeks and it seems that Wiley is getting the recognition he deserves. Thanks to the overwhelming support of what has been dubbed his “final album” Godfather has become Wiley’s first top ten album, although this is somewhat criminal considering his body of work it’s a landmark moment for not just Wiley himself, but the scene as a whole. To celebrate this landmark moment, we’ll take on the mammoth task of hand-picking seven of the hardest bars that Wiley sprays on The Godfather.
“Bring Them All/ Holy Grime” (ft. Devlin)
There is no hook required when you have two heavyweights like Devlin and Wiley on the same track. After the coloured history the two have had, it’s great to finally seem them join forces and produce some pure unadulterated grime. Wiley’s standout bar comes at the end of his first verse where he reminds us that after all these years in the game he hasn’t lost any of his lyrical potency.
“Let me go on and enjoy what I created
Man will jump on the stage and go ape shit
For years I’ve been killin’ it, trust me
Swear down, I will never get rusty
My lyrics dem will rough up your lyrics like rugby
For the work I put in, the fans love me”
“Back With A Banger”
When you’ve got a flow as immaculate as Wiley’s, the beats have to match up; hence why Wiley enlists Brummie-born Preditah to work his magic behind the boards. In this bar Wiley makes reference to how grime has gone global in recent years while simultaneously reminding us of his divine status in the scene by skilfully weaving in a biblical reference.
“Dons could be richer or poor, I won’t class ’em
Dons could be ready for war, my bars spark ’em
My sound travels the seas, that’s why I part ’em
I can be foul, poisonous dart them”
“Can’t Go Wrong”
Wiley has always stuck to his guns and believed in grime when all but a few had jumped ship. Aside from the odd commercial tune here and there Wiley’s back catalogue has been strictly grime and he’s been through some tumultuous times with a number of labels because of it, but it seems he was right all along and he’s now reaping the benefits:
“Dad told me, “Don’t follow the herd”
Instinct, yes, I follow the word
I used to go and get what I’m given
Now I go and get what I’m worth
Still goin’ strong ’cause I gotta believe
That I’m the wickedest grime MC on this earth”
“My Direction” (ft. Lethal Bizzle)
When Wiley calls you for a feature, it’s most certainly not a call you don’t respond to. The features on the whole album are incredible as Wiley gathers veterans and heirs to the throne to share lyrical responsibility. On this tune the hardest bar has to be an ode to his the most famous grime clash to date, Wiley Vs Kano. The bar, although not exactly the same as the one he sprayed in the clash, is certainly reminiscent of it.
“Yo, my name’s Wiley, I’m grimy
I’m too shystie, you won’t get beside me
You won’t get by or go past me, don’t put it past me
Blud, you will never outlast me”
“Like it Or Not” (ft. Breeze)
Wiley, acknowledging that his audience has shifted over the years, seeks to remind many of the newer listeners that he’s been there since grime’s inception and long before it in fact. Going through the many trials and tribulations in East London gave him the inspiration to create the sound that we all know and love, it’s important that we don’t forget its origins.
“Blud, I was on the roof, I was in the trenches
I was on the mic chattin’ ’bout sixth senses
I was on the radio, legal and pirate
I was in the hood when they first called Trident
Doors gettin’ kicked off, guns gettin’ found
How’d you think I produced the coldest sound?
I was in the zone, anywhere you go
You can tell a man this ain’t a bogus sound”
No one has had quite the amount of longevity that Wiley has had in grime. The faith he’s had has been unwavering, but despite being in the game so long he’s never sounded dated and he’s always managed to remain relevant. Although when you’re one of the founding fathers of an entire genre it’s hard to not remain relevant.
“I’ve learned loads and loads through time
Let me give a shout to my scene one time
Let me give a shout to my scene two time
Now I get clocked like a sport shoe sign
Man jump ahead like more food time
I can still spray up the riddims
Of the oldest or the new grime”
“Laptop” (ft. Manga)
One of the most amazing things about grime is its DIY nature. Some of the most iconic beats and tunes have not been made in mulit-million pound studios but more likely in someone’s bedroom with software they illegally torrented from the internet. It’s a well known fact that Dizzee’s entire debut album was produced on Fruity Loops, probably illegally downloaded as well. Wiley drops bars paying homage those early days:
“Let me tell you how man got here
Started off with the cracked software
All them plugins made man
So much money and it didn’t stop there
Went on for years of my life
I was in the kitchen makin’ riddims all night
Sound card, mic and a keyboard
And I wasn’t lookin’ for a reward
I was doin’ it, passion, a leader”