Grime Pioneer Wiley Says New Album “Godfather” Will Be His Last

It’s now only a few days until Wiley drops his eleventh studio album, Godfather. In a new interview over at Vice’s music website Noisey, the Eskiboy himself has ominously announced that this will in fact be his last.

“This is my last album, in theory” he said, “You know, Wiley the brand, you’re not going to see me trying to cane the arse out of tens of Wileys, you will not. I’ll always use my money to do other, smart things.”

Much like countless other artists who threaten their exit, this is not the first time he’s announced his retirement, and as such, we’re not taking seriously – yet. He first called it quits after releasing the 2013 The Ascent, only to release Snakes & Ladders in 2014, after which he made the same claim yet again. He insists that this album really will be his last though, perhaps due to the tumultuous production process, which has caused him to threaten scrapping it entirely several times, even calling it “pointless” in July last year.

The interview did not push further into the topic or any reasons as to why he’s retiring, and why he would actually be retiring this time around, but there were some more highlights throughout, namely his critiques of co-pioneer grime artists Skepta and Kano.

He explained Skepta’s Konnichiwa was “the right album for what this guy [Skepta] was trying to do and where he was trying to sell it.” But as for Kano’s Made In The Manor, he thinks that it was “the wrong album to be made by him at a time when grime was in fashion.”

“If grime is in and it’s popping, and you can see Stormzy and anyone else bringing it back, and you’re so good at it, you could have just given a fifteen track grime classic to follow up Home Sweet Home,” he explained, going on to continuously reference MITM as “a good Damon Albarn album”.

It’s frustrating that Wiley can’t let Kano evolve musically, and in a sense it’s almost in the wrong moral for him to say just because grime is taking off worldwide that you have to release an all grime album, making us almost question whether Wiley’s decision to stick with the genre is for the right reasons.

Despite this he also touched on whether there may be a Boy Better Know group album, to which he said it was up to Skepta, as he funnily called “the Wiley of BBK”.

So who knows whether this will truly be the final project from Wiley, we’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, The Godfather is set to be released this Friday, and features a plethora of artists, the BBK family – Skepta, JME, Frisco to name a few, alongside other pioneers and pivotal emcees, Devlin, Ghetts, P Money, Newham Generals (D Double E and Footsie), Lethal Bizzle, Chip and much, much more.

Have a listen to one of the lead single with emcee Devlin below, and check out Noisey’s full interview here.

Image: VICE