The Godfather of grime celebrated winning the prize with a striking performance
Wiley continued a brilliant year following the release of his career-best album ‘Godfather’ and his first Top 10 record with a very special prize. He followed in the footsteps of the likes of The Cribs, Elbow and PJ Harvey by picking up the award for Outstanding Contribution To Music – only the seventh artist to be awarded the accolade.
The award recognises the impact Wiley has had on the grime scene and beyond. He invented the genre as part of Roll Deep back in the early noughties and has been an ever-present innovator in the scene since.
Wiley was the third performer of the night, taking to the stage after collecting his award for Outstanding Contribution To Music.
Ahead of him treating the audience to two live tracks, the Godfather of grime was introduced by his friend Skepta.
The ‘Shutdown’ rapper said: “When I first met this guy, this was someone who never tried to sign me, never tried to own me, never tried to tell me what to do – he always told me to do what I was doing. I’m eternally forever thankful.” He also called Wiley one of his “favourite people on the planet”.
Wiley then came out to receive his trophy and paid tribute to his scene in his accpetance speech.
“I wouldn’t be here without them,” he said. “All the people who showed support – big up NME and everyone who showed support from the beginning. I appreciate you and I appreciate this award.”
He then opened his two-song set with ‘Speakerbox’. After the track, he said: “NME, if you’re having a good time say ‘oi oi’!”
He then played ‘Can’t Go Wrong’, which features on his “final” album ‘Godfather. An appreciative crowd sang and danced along, including an enthusiastic Matty Healy from The 1975.