Wiley, the dubbed Godfather of Grime, is set to publish his autobiography with Heinemann, a well-known publishing house. Titled Eskiboy, the book will feature Wiley throughout his life and career as well as the discussion of the grime and Eskimo sound. It’s set to drop in November. Wiley fans will definitely want to keep a look out for this opportunity to get to know the Godfather himself.
Wiley has been recognized as one of the kings of the grime genre and remains widely undisputed in that aspect. He was there in the early/mid-2000s behind the sound of grime in the pirate radio stations such as Rinse FM at its original founding in 1994. For those not in the know, grime essentially began in radio stations without valid licenses – pirate stations – and grew into what it is today from those humble beginnings.
Early in his career, the innovative Godfather created what he named as the aforementioned “Eskimo sound” or “eskibeat”. The unique sound carried what could only be described as a “cold” tone. They were instrumentals that used very “gamey” synths reminiscent of old Nintendo sounds and jerky rhythms. These types of tracks were aptly named: Icerink, Eskimo, and Avalanche. His “eskibeat” songs are fairly easy to spot by name.
More recently, Wiley’s most recent album, Godfather, was released this year. Everything about the project screams “instant classic”. Honestly, the whole album could fit on Reddit’s Grime Classics Playlist. Our personal favorite – also found on the playlist – has to be Speakerbox. The laser-y, bouncy synth shapes the entire song which, additionally, is lyrically dense. Give it a shot and graduate to the entire project – you won’t regret it.
The question is begging to be asked: what’s the story behind the name? The name came from his hand in the resurgence of grime. More often than not, newer grime artists view him as a sort of role model – or Godfather, if you will. As a testament to his influence, Wiley didn’t even give himself the name. In fact, the Godfather himself was reluctant about accepting the mantle at all. It wasn’t until his recent “self-titled” album that he came around to wholly accepting the role as the Godfather of Grime. He’s even made it evident how much he values the respect given to him by other grime artists. In taking up the name, he gives back that respect and wears it with pride.
Hailing from East London, the Godfather of Grime has been credited with a huge part of the resurgence of the genre. If that doesn’t sway you on his status, Wiley boasts one of the largest discographies in grime, to date. Each one is definitely worth a listen. Each project gives you a glimpse of the transformation of grime throughout the years.
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