Greatness only: what grime’s elite got up to at last night’s VO5 NME Awards 2017

It was grime’s moment to shine at the last night’s VO5 NME Awards, as Wiley and Skepta picked up awards and partied the night away. Here’s what happened.

Wiley and Skepta bromanced the hell out of each other


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They go back a long way – Skeppy called the elder statesman “one of my favourite people on the planet” – and Wiley won a prize too: Outstanding Contribution To Music. Skepta presented The Godfather Of Grime with the award and they were snapped raving it up afterwards, followed by this loved-up tweet from Skepta.

Wiley stormed the stage













He really doesn’t need need to prove himself at this point, but that’s just what Wiley did, performing ‘Speakerbox’ and ‘Can’t Go Wrong’, from ‘The Godfather’, his recent and reportedly final album. He said:“I wouldn’t be here without them – 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.”

Skepta went steampunk

This picture describes tonight. Thank you world, love you 🌍

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Skepta has single handedly invented a steampunk roadman look, consisting of oversized shades, grills and a furry deerstalker hat – plus a shirt simply branded, “Greatness”.  The shades might explain why he got a bit lost on the way to pick up his award from the Mayor Of London. “If anyone’s seen Skepta,” Sadiq Khan said, “Can you please direct him to the stage?”

This bit tested Skepta’s mic skills

Skepta’s +1 last night was a bottle of whiskey, which didn’t leave his side for the duration of the event. In fact, he was so wedded to the whiskey that he thought it was a microphone.

We’ve all done it.

The 1975’s Matty Healy had a drink of his own, but who can blame him for taking a swig from Skepta’s bottle? Reposting a screengrab of the incident on Instagram, Skepta commented: “This picture describes tonight. Thank you world, love you.”


Skepta kicked it with Matty Healy

And Healy told us that The 1975 and Skepta were working on a track together and they want it to sound like ‘West End Girls’ by The Pet Shop Boys, which is an unexpected sentence, all told. Well, The Pet Shop Boys were named the night’s Godlike Geniuses, and…


…Skepta danced to Pet Shop Boys

Pet Shop Boys and it’s Shutdown.

Novelist rocked dungarees

Much love at the @nmemagazine Awards w/ @jadeavia

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Partying with Rinse FM DJ Jade Avia, Novelist was also spotted dancing to Pet Shop Boys at one point. It’s A Sin that we don’t have footage of this.

Best British Male nominee Kano paid tribute to “the guy everyone looks up to”

Kano hails Wiley's influence on UK MusicGetty

Celebrating a career-best album ‘Made In The Manor’ and up for Best British Male Artist supported by the Pilot Pen Company, Kano took time to shout out to Wiley on the red carpet: “Coming up, [Wiley’s] been through the eras from being a jungle MC to a garage MC to being right at the beginning and kind of innovating the grime thing. He’s contributed so much to music, especially where I’m from, east London – he was the guy that everyone looked up to. And I think [the recognition] is overdue… Look at the all the artists that have been inspired and influenced by Wiley: Dizzee Rascal, myself, Novelist, Stormzy, Skepta. You can all trace us back to Wiley in a way. So I feel he’s done massive things for UK music and it’s only right that he gets rewarded for it.”

This picture happened

Can I get a pic for the 'gram? #VO5NMEAwards

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Yeah, Sadiq smashed it. He shouted out grime without seeming all ‘Gordon Brown pretending to like the Arctic Monkeys’ by emphasising that he knows about the genre because his children are into it.“My daughters are 17 and 15,” he said. “They’re really into grime, Stormzy, Skepta, Wiley – we went to Drake last week and he brought The Section Boys onstage with 20,000 youngsters, me excluded, screaming and singing along. People like Drake and Kanye West are supporting London’s grime scene and it’s great.” Sadiq knows: greatness only.

Skepta was singing Stormzy’s praises

Skepta hasn’t heard Stormzy‘s album yet, but he’s just as excited as the rest of us. “He’s a blessing to earth. He’s a gift to earth,” he said. We agree. ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’, Stormzy’s debut LP, is out February 24. We are ready.