So far in the war between Wiley and Skepta, Wiley is winning, by all accounts, on barring ability, and weight of shots.
The beef started when Skepta released a tune with Dizzee Rascal (Wiley’s number one opp from early) ‘Money Right’. Wiley responded to this apparent slight, with a string of Instagram posts, showing the depth of the betrayal he felt, calling the duo frauds, and asking ‘Why is everyone such a prick?’ Etc.
Shortly after this Wiley released ‘Flip The Table’, and spent the shelly riddim calling them both out for what he believed to be a ‘set up’, for being fake about each other all these years, and BBK for turning their backs on him. It later transpired that Wiley had requested a beat from Skepta, and Skepta had aired him. Again, believing this to be a deep betrayal, he reasserts that he has been more than instrumental to Skepta’s success.
Skepta returned with his ‘You Weren’t There’ response, which was heavily laced with shots about Wiley’s (sometimes) poor attendance record with events he is supposed to appear at. Skepta claimed to have gone to Wiley’s house and his birthday bash at Grime Originals (during which Wiley was detained, in Cyprus) looking for him to sort things out, and even called him out for not being part of his life, before he made it, though Wiley claims this as untrue, and claims to have been the one to convince Skepta to spit, in the first place.
Later Skepta claims he doesn’t believe Wiley has the nerve to really try to see him, as he looked for him when he knew he wasn’t about, and he says he’s got nothing to do with the old beef between Dizzee and Wiley. He claims he did share (which is probably a reference to Wiley’s claims he aired him over a riddim), but instead states it was because they simply aren’t that close. Skepta asserts his belief that Wiley is just jealous, now Skepta’s ‘Gone clear’, and tries to prove he didn’t owe Wiley any loyalty, by listing other people he’s been closer with, claiming they were all ‘there’. At the end of the pattern, Skepta states he wishes Wiley had been there, and in doing appears to assert that business decisions shouldn’t hurt their relationship.
Wiley returned shortly thereafter with ‘Don’t Bread Me’, released later than anticipated, out of a willingness to pay his respects to the late ‘Rated Legend’ Cadet.
However, true to form, true to Grime, and true to his godfather status, Wiley released his retort via sendspace, and it was worth the wait. Maniac blesses us with an OG Grime pattern, complete with vocal sample melodies, rolling hihats, heavy 808 style kicks, and a sub bass, with the occasional string synth, second melody line, and jheeeeze Wiley just unleashes on this one.
Starting by asking why Skepta is using such a cheap shot tactic to gain clout (bread him), Wiley expresses that it was an easy reach, considering everyone knows he doesn’t show up sometimes, but goes on to say Skepta has caused trouble this way in the past, and Wiley did not complain.
Wiley tells Skepta to get Dizzee, and ‘come round ‘ere’, I’ve been doing bare for Grime, what have you two done? He follows the taunt with an accusation that Skepta never came to Wiley’s yard. He claims Skepta can’t really spit, and collects people to steal shine from. He finishes this thought with an assertion that the relationship is dead, as if to show he understands the gravity of his words, but he believes Skepta already killed it between them.
Next Wiley takes aim at several of Skepta’s bars, and reminds him that he has never ‘buss’ his ‘9’, and that if it weren’t for Meridian Dan, and ‘German Whip’, noone would have had a comeback. Wiley takes aim at Skepta’s claims he’s gone clear, by saying without Wiley’s help, he wouldn’t even have barred at all, while also claiming Skepta made his own brother, JME, wait to release his own music, so as not be outshone (shortly after this it became widely accepted knowledge that JME has an album coming out).
Wiley is passionate, angry and hurt throughout, telling Skepta that him and his had always loved him, even though he wasn’t the best, even though he wasn’t really road, they’d taken him in, and he tells him he wasn’t supposed to turn. He then says Skepta is a snake for real, and has sold out his own brother for fame, but that it doesn’t matter, because he got patterns and flows for years, and doesn’t need the lift, showing he is hurt on a personal level, far more than a professional one, and turning Skepta’s assertion they weren’t close on its head.
Next he reminds Skepta that he’s the king of ‘one ups’, and won’t be stepped to without coming back with heavy artillery. Wiley ends the riddim telling Skepta that getting man like Jaykae on side won’t help, since they’re all his sons anyway. He says he’s the one who’s been used. He can’t be G checked with cheap and obvious shots for clout, but also remarks that now he’s doing better, Skepta wants to squash it and bread him, but that it’s too late for that now.
He says he gets it, he knows they all pretend to like each other, and he accepts that Skepta never liked him (reference to a tweet Skepta made saying something about not having to fake liking people any more), but that he’s caught up now, and it’s done. He can’t be ‘G shocked’ even though he plays fair and didn’t expect it, Skepta has given up the free throw, and Wiley won’t fail to score. Here we get a clear sense of the disloyalty and betrayal Wiley feels, alongside sheer determination to not be outdone.
With far more shots, more depth of emotion, fuller, unrepeated bars, and a variety of classic grime flows, as well as classic storytelling, Wiley has currently got the ting on lock.
Gripped, all anyone wants to know now, is will Skepta come back? Stay tuned!