In regards to the now-globalized grime genre, Wiley’s role in its creation and commercial success should go unsaid. Over the weekend, the UK legend returned to the fold with his surprise thirteenth studio release The Godfather 3, an album that’s seen numerous delays over the past two years. The project also stands as a celebration amongst his many grime peers, which several features from Blay Vision, D Double E, Flirta D, Footsie, Jammer, J2K, Manga Saint Hilare, and more.
According to a recent interview with The Guardian, this is also presumed to be Wiley’s final album, at least in his current form:
“I’m 41... I don’t want to try and fit in with kids. I just need to not let my genre die on the way out. ... Trying to be in the same field as the kids when you’re in your mid-40s is ridiculous. No one wants to stop, but you have to be able to discipline yourself and... not stop, but shift. The sad part of the story of the poor boy who grows up with nothing is you search everywhere and chase after everything – but by the time you’ve learned what you need to learn, it’s getting towards the end.”
Largely known as one of the literal creators of grime, Wiley — who’s also contributed as a member to groups like Roll Deep and Boy Better Know — first broke into the solo atmosphere with 2004’s Treddin On Thin Ice, considered a blueprint album by many alongside other classics like Dizzee Rascal’s Boy in da Corner. Since then, he’s continued to push the entire culture forward, opening the proverbial door for current stars like his eventual competitor Stormzy.
Press play on The Godfather 3 below. Hopefully, there’s still plenty more to come from Richard Kylea Cowie Jr, MBE in the future.