I haven’t done this one for a while, but then, I have not been blogging much full stop!
Music Monday is hosted by Drew over at The Tattooed Book Geek.
Bear with me, this is going to be a long story! (and out of my comfortzone!)
This past week brought the UK grime scene to the fore (there are criteria for making grime different from just rap, is it just the 140bpm thing? I don’t know!). Now, I don’t listen to a lot of rap music. It is not that I don’t like it, there is just not enough time in my day to listen to all the music I would like to listen to! I like Stormzy. What can I say? I am a sheep! No, it’s not that. Fact is, the guy is just incredibly likable. And his music is accessible for people who don’t listen to a whole lot of rap/grime etc music. Which is exactly why the following occurred and for some reason I found myself following what was going on and I may as well talk about it a bit!
Wiley (40) is one of the founding fathers of the grime scene in the UK and Stormzy (26) is the pretender to the throne. For some reason Wiley started going off on Stormzy, mostly for working with Ed Sheeran as far as I can tell. The fact that Stormzy is mixing grime with more popular music seemed to irk him quite a bit. Also, on his recently released album Heavy is the Head (went to no 1 in the UK charts!) Stormzy has a track called Wiley Flow, which seems a homage, but Wiley apparently took it as a diss.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, Wiley sent a diss track (Eediyat Skengman) out to Stormzy to an old school grime beat. He mainly attacked Stormzy’s credibility as a grime artist and the music he is making. He managed to wake the bear and Stormzy came back with a track pretty snappy. On his track Disappointed he makes it very clear how disappointed he is and disses Wiley’s brother (Cadell) and dad. He does not really seem to take it too seriously and throughout the music video (made on the fly!), he is holding a mug of tea and a spliff, as if he could do this whole thing in his sleep. He makes it look so easy. Of course there were some grumblings from the grime scene that Stormzy’s track was in fact set to a slower drill beat (Know Better by Headie One, which in itself is a bit of a diss).
Wiley’s reply (Eediyat Skengman 2) was a better effort than his first, but he made the big mistake of dissing Stormzy’s mum (again!). The bear turned into one pissed off dragon, or as Stormzy says in the track (Still Disappointed) ‘not a happy bunny’, and certainly in the first half of the track he seems really pissed off and goes at Wiley’s mum quite a bit in retaliation. However, in the second half, he is clearly just taking the piss and mocking the whole situation, which was absolutely hilarious in my opinion. Again, with mug of tea and a spliff in hand, he makes it look so easy, especially since he had the track (which has direct replies to Wiley’s second track) ready less than 24 hours later with a scorching video to go with it and that whilst he had signings and interviews to attend.
Wiley should not have replied, but he did with Eediyat Skengman 3 (though not within the prescribed 24 hours). The track added little to what had already gone on, and I presume Stormzy won’t reply. He does not need to. After all, he has a busy schedule and he said what he needed to say. I would be very surprised if he did.
Now, I am a indie rock chick at heart, but you have to admire the workrate of these rap/grime artists when they are beefing, especially when they are responding within 24 hours with pretty hot work.
It very much looks like a generation clash to me. On one hand you have the old guard, who worked hard for the genre and for where they got to, and on the other hand you have this young upstart who managed to break from your genre into the mainstream by mixing it with other genres. That’s tough, right! However, it is not like Wiley has never dabbled on the pop side of things, but he is more of a grime artist than Stormzy is. The problem is that when an older generation starts on a younger one it comes across jaded. Instead of being proud of paving the way, Wiley seems to feel that Stormzy is using grime to further his own career. Now, I am not sure whether that is the case, but I know that a lot of young kids out there will be listening to more grime, because Stormzy promotes it and how can that be a bad thing.
Also, Wiley has a new album coming out soon and since the beef has started dropping tracks, so one has to speculate that this was all a publicity stunt on his part. I am sure his name has been trending because he has been beefing with Stormzy, who was number 1 in the singles and album charts in the UK as the time of the beef. What better way to get your name out there again for when you drop your album. Highly suspicious!
Both Wiley’s brother Cadell and grime artist Dot Rotten have sent for Stormzy, but he has not dignified those with replies. I don’t think he will. There’s no need.
Anyway, this is Still Disappointed. (I won’t add the lyrics, as they are pretty harsh). If you are interested check out all the above tracks for a proper narrative in this particular diss exchange.