The Weird and Wonderful World of Wiley: An Introduction

lead

In 2002 Wiley scored a minor hit on the UK charts with "Champagne Dance" as part of the Pay As U Go cartel. Just over 10 years later, he can look back at a career that has seen him help define the sound of underground UK grime music, take part in its rapid growth and entrance into the British mainstream, make a number of crossover hits, and finally score a No. 1 single in 2012.

Over the course of eight solo albums, four collaborative efforts with Roll Deep, almost uncountable mixtapes, and huge zip files of music that he's leaked, Wiley, the Godfather of Grime, has constantly experimented, evolved, and attempted to innovate, whether that be creating his own "eskibeat" sound at the beginning of his career, or successfully making crossover hits with Mark Ronson and Hot Chip.

He may not be as well known in the US as Dizzee Rascal, but without Wiley, there might have never been a Dizzee, so take a bit of time and enter the weird and wonderful world of Richard Cowie aka Wiley.

Note: All the songs on this list have been officially released on albums, mixtapes or EPs. It doesn't include Wiley's instrumentals or his many unreleased freestyles and clashes.

Continue Reading