Tinie Tempah defends “authentic” Ed Sheeran after Wiley “culture vulture” drama

"the music that I'm hearing on that record is authentic."

Tinie Tempah has praised Ed Sheeran for creating “authentic” music after he was accused of being a “culture vulture” by Wiley.

Sheeran attracted the ire of the Godfather of Grime earlier this month, after joining forces with Stormzy on a remix of ‘Take Me Back To London’ from his ‘No. 6 Collaborations Project’ record.

Wiley said Sheeran had used Stormzy’s talents to gain popularity and then labelled him a “culture vulture” as he simultaneously lashed out at Drake.


While Sheeran later responded to Wiley’s criticism, he’s now received support from the ‘Pass Out’ star, who praised his efforts on the collaborative track.

Tempah, real name Patrick Okogwu, told NME: ” We live in an age of influence and a time when, respectfully, everyone is allowed to have their own opinion on a certain situation. It’s great we live in a time when you can come out, express yourself and say what you feel.

“But I would also say that in my opinion, the music that I’m hearing on that record is authentic. It sounds authentic and no one sounds out of place on it. For as long as I can remember, I’ve obviously heard Stormzy on that kinda music, but I’ve heard Ed on it too.”

He added: “In my opinion, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. If you wanna talk about music, all music initially emanates from Africa. A lot of music is predominantly black music and it doesn’t matter. Everyone is allowed to express themselves and make whatever they want.

Tinie Tempah with Anthony Joshua as part of Lynx’s Deliver The Call campaign

“We have no idea of what’s original really, I’m always trying to come up with original fucking ideas but it’s fucking hard! No idea has not been reworked or inspired or taken from something. Everyone should have fun, create good music and feel good.”


For his part, Sheeran said he had a “deep respect for Wiley”.

As for the state of UK music in 2019, Tinie Tempah praised the increasing presence of “Black British music” at some of the UK’s biggest festivals. In 2019 alone, Stormzy has delivered a triumphant headlining set at Glastonbury, and rising rap star AJ Tracey attracted one of the biggest crowds of the weekend at Reading Festival.

“It’s great! It’s overdue and change is an inevitable thing. But for the last decade or two decades, I remember growing up and hearing black British music coming through in drips and drabs,” he explained.

Ed Sheeran has teamed up with Stormzy on ‘Take Me Back To London’

“There’s always been an appetite for it and that shows – we’ve been given the platform to facilitate it and celebrate it. Give it the level of attention that it deserves and show it in the light that it deserves to be shown in. It’s all paying off. Even with something like Top Boy – it’s full of artists who have had number one albums and that’s great.

“We used to look at our American counterparts, but it’s not something we need to aspire to any more because we’ve got our own identities. I feel like this is going to create waves for new festivals and new opportunities. I feel great and very proud to be an artist who, for the longest time, has been trying to open doors and play my part in the very much bigger picture. I’m very proud, it’s amazing.”

‘Tinie Tempah was speaking on behalf of Lynx’s Deliver The Chill campaign.