Wiley, the pioneer, the founding father, the maverick, the relentless innovator, releases his brand new (and possibly last) album on Monday June 4th. A blazing return to the experimental crucible of the East London music known as grime, "Playtime Is Over" offers everything that is most brutal, cutting edge, funny, clever, terrifying and moving about the sound and the world which created it.
Over the course of 15 tracks, Wiley boasts of his pre-eminence, tells stories of his life and background, reveals a sensitive side that won’t surprise anyone who has met him, bigs up Bow and, in general, splatters his life and thoughts and feelings over beats in a way which hasn’t been bettered in the short but incident-packed history of a scene whose mainstream acceptance is barely five years old.
The majority of the music on "Playtime Is Over" is produced by the man himself, with occasional assistance from the likes of JME ("No Qualms") and Maniac (the aural assault of "Bow E3.") The handful of guest MCs and vocalists on the album were equally carefully selected; one-time rival and rising star Scorcher lends his musical flow to ‘Fly Boy‘, Jukie Mundo‘s ultra-tight delivery rails over ‘Stars‘ and the dulcet tones of Rachel provides the chorus to ‘Come Lay With Me‘.
Rather than the ‘pop’ experiments that were forced on Wiley while producing Roll Deep’s "In At The Deep End," here he revels in his ability to weld together screeching keyboards, elastic bass drops and pounding beats into instantly catchy, hugely more-ish bursts of noise. Right from the opening bars of "50/50" you know you’re in for a treat and it doesn’t let up through his tales of trouble in South West London ("Slippin‘"), jokes about the Grime scene’s internal rivalries ("Getalong Gang"), or his exhortations for the scene around him to realise it’s time to get serious ("Playtime’s Over").
In between, Wiley also shows himself the master of a different type of approach, on a heartfelt and funny dedication to his newborn daughter ("Baby Girl") or when reaching out to his sometime prodigy and fellow Bow boy, Dizzee Rascal ("Letter 2 Dizzee").
Wiley aka Eski-Boy aka Igloo-Boy is the true founding father of grime. Since leaving XL he has inspired the grime world through his "Tunnel Vision" mixtapes which sell in their tens of thousands and last year he self-released his own album "2nd Phaze". This album sold astounding figures without any proper distribution and "Playtime Is Over" contains three tracks from it that deserved to reach a still wider audience.
Wiley is a true maverick who has recently announced that he will retire from MCing after the release of "Playtime Is Over" and the grime world would be an infinitely poorer place without the many stories and legends the man has inspired…
New Album – Release Date: 4th June.
"The Godfather of Grime is back and he’s definitely not playing. One of the UKs most influential artists, Wiley yet again delivers with gritty, grimy anthems to the underground as well as introspective and insightful cuts. Top of the class, as always, we give this full marks." RWD magazine