Album: Wiley, Evolve or Be Extinct (Big Dada)
Sunday 15 January 2012
You get no prizes for being ahead of your time, and Wiley knows it. "I've been an inspiration to the UK grime scene...", he points out on EOBE's most telling moment, "I've got a temper but my name ain't Tinie."
If it feels as if Wiley has always been around, then in Brit-rap terms he has: he emerged at the start of the millennium, and at 32, he's too old for the Chipmunk/Tinie/Wretch/Tinchy chart-crossover bandwagon. Which probably works in his favour. Rather than chase the mainstream dollar, the insanely prolific Richard Kylea Cowie (this is his third album in seven months) is free to pursue his own path.
Over rudimentary backing beats, in that "ya feel me?" accent, his humour often hits the spot. However, the going-through-Customs skit, followed by a track about having his urine tested at the airport, is as tedious as it is righteous.
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