Wiley has declared the release of his twelfth studio album, titled ‘Godfather II’, which is set to hit stores and streaming services from February 16th, 2018. The news comes after a spout of media appearances and the uploading of snippets of some of his lines on Instagram. The name of his new release is a fitting ode to his reputation within the grime community. ‘Eskiboy’ is often dubbed ‘the godfather of grime’, as he helped pioneer the early sound of the genre with highly significant instrumentals that were released on vinyl in the early 2000’s. He then properly solidified his status as part of the Roll Deep outfit and has since stood out as one of the UK’s finest solo MC’s. Wiley’s body of work has been varied to say the least. The native Bow resident’s production is extremely versatile and adapts itself to the artists own changing personal circumstances and to the volatile musical landscape that he finds himself floating in. The beats on his debut album ‘Treddin on Thin Ice’ (2004), for example, were not charted as commercial successes, but the project’s forward facing sound soon became an underground blueprint for what the genre should sound like, along with Dizzee Rascal’s ‘Boy in Da Corner’(2003). Over time, Wiley has incorporated dance rhythms in his tracks, with popular releases like ‘Heatwave’ climbing into the UK charts.

However, in recent years, the 38 year old has relapsed back into some of the more gritty sounds that influenced his earlier works. His eleventh studio album ‘Godfather’ was released in 2016 and was a salute to the Eskimo- era style. As Wiley has grown older and seen the scene evolve, he has had the opportunity to gain some perspective and see his effect on the up and coming artists he has inspired. Godfather II ought to reflect this maturity in his lyrics and subject matter. He has always been eloquent, but I think as time has progressed he has learnt to pack a greater variety of content in his tracks. Wiley has released the first song on the album called ‘I Call the Shots’ featuring JME. “You got a career in England? Didn’t know Kylie designed it and then he refined it” is an illustration of the extent of his impact on a genre that has only as of late crossed over into mainstream territory. Just like the American crime film series, I look forward to a Godfather II which is of the same quality as its predecessor.

Article by Yohannes Lowe.

George Millington