Sunday, 5 December 2004

Love To Hate

“Is Wiley overrated?” When Tense magazine editor, Toussaint Davy, put this question to me my initial reaction was ‘what a freaking idiot.’ Well, Mr Davy my question to you would be “Is Wiley underrated.” After much thought I decided I’m not going to try and argue Wiley as an iller sound boy than Nas, or a more adept studio hand than Timbaland, but what I will do is speak from the heart. To me Wiley not only symbolises the music and culture that has become me, but he is it. And I live for this shit.

He was there for the birth of Rinse 100.3FM which today is more important in the rise of my favourite music than any legal station. Wiley was there for the birth of the Pay As U Go Cartel (PAUG) who lets face it, turned UK garage on it’s head. The reason the old UKG establishment couldn’t hold them down was because we wanted them. We wanted a new energy, fresh sounds, more bass, more bite, more lyrics. Wiley and the Cartel bought all of those things as did the new skool movement that followed. When Wiley produced Know We and the MC’s laid down their bars it was on. Wiley’s production and MCing became of equal importance. A few years on when Wiley unleashed Eskimo it was officially the start of something bigger than perhaps we’d imagined. With the lyrical game having been seriously upped, we’re talking real verbal dexterity, rap credentials, Eskimo became the anthem that signalled showtime and propelled MC’s into the limelight. The buzz was that electric it was like you could feel it in your blood. It’s what myself and clearly many others, had been waiting for. We wanted to be part of this.

The trends that he’s spurred in hindsight are countless. No one knows this better than Wiley. Everyone wants to ride his beats, clash him, MC with him, put him on their line up, on their radio station… Wiley has aided in bringing through countless new MC’s including Dizzee Rascal (there’s little doubt Dizzee would have blown, but Wiley did help him get there that bit quicker), Tinchy, and now Trim. Then there’s the DVD’s, the thousands of white labels sold from his car boot and his debut album for XL Recordings, Treddin’ On Thin Ice which won’t be coming off my stereo for a long while. And still, nothing fuels me more than watching the crowd react to his anthemic rhymes.

It’s for all of this and more that I give thanks to Wiley and why it’s unlikely you’ll ever be able to convince me that he is overrated. (It’s also why I’d like to tell Tous Davy he’s a big piss stain for any derogatory comments he’s made). Yeah, he tends to be late all the time (I’ve waited three days), he isn’t reliable, hey, he might not even show up for your interview (I've lost count of how many jobs of mine he's flopped). But as I've learnt over the years, with Wiley you just can't take it personal.

Words: Chantelle Fiddy
This opinion piece was written in ten minutes for Tense Magazine, unsurprisingly Tous Davy decided not to publish it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Toussaint Davy is a prat for inventing TENSE magazine, what a pile of sheepbollocks for D-list urban advertisers to wipe their arses with.

Wiley is a great producer, and preaches sound bwoy murderation with each beat, but his lp lacked the real Wiley, meaning the crazy, self proclaimed bastard, that wars for fun and passionately carries the scene on his shoulder, for all his gusto - that is also his flaw.

Plus the Roll Deep lp sounds like one of Kanye West's chip monks was stolen by one of the mitchell brothers, and hypnotised to churn out probable UK chart fodder...