Album: Wiley, 100% Publishing (Big Dada)

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The Independent Culture

The title of this seventh album from grime pioneer Wiley hints at its main failing.

Referring to its being entirely written, produced and performed by the rapper himself, the phrase establishes the obsessional careerism that gives the album such a dully solipsistic tone. Tracks like "Up There", "One Hit Wonder" and "Numbers in Action" all fret constantly about success and status, which makes the album every bit as interesting as overhearing the coffee-shop chatter of ambitious yuppies – which is to say, not particularly. Away from his favourite theme, Wiley struggles to bring interest or insight to his workaday observations, and while many of his grimey "eskibeat" grooves have an infectious, spartan quality about them, it's likely that in future they'll be more profitably employed behind other wordsmiths.

DOWNLOAD THIS: 100% Publishing; Wise Man and His Words