The MC will receive the Outstanding Contribution To British Music Award in February
On February 15, Wiley will receive the Outstanding Contribution To Music award at the VO5 NME Awards 2017. He's had a colourful career so far, most recently highlighted by what he's said is his last ever album, 'Godfather'. Here's some of Wiley's most memorable and important moments over the years.
Don't forget there's still time to pick up tickets for the ceremony, which takes place at London's O2 Academy Brixton. Wiley will be playing an extended set there, alongside Bastille, Dua Lip and more. You can also vote for who you want to win in the other categories before January 31.
Before striking out on his own, Wiley was a part of several crews. SS Crew, Ladies Hit Squad, Pay As U Go Cartel all counted him as a member at various points, before he formed Roll Deep. The crew also included members such as Dizzee Rascal, Tinchy Stryder, Flowdan and DJ Target. Roll Deep are often credited with creating grime.
In 2005, Wiley joined Boy Better Know, the crew formed by JME and Skepta. He helped the pair set up their own label in the same year.
The MC, whose real name is Richard Kylea Cowie, signed to XL in 2004 and released his debut album 'Treddin' On Thin Ice' with the label - the same imprint to release Dizzee Rascal's groundbreaking 'Boy In Da Corner' the year before. The record included singles 'Wot Do U Call It?' and 'Pies'.
Wiley's grime night Eskimo Dance went on hiatus in 2006 after bringing together grime MCs to fight it out on stage in rap battles or simply by one-upping the others with their verses. The night returned in 2012 and has gone from strength to strength since, including an arena date in April.
2008 saw Wiley achieve mainstream success with his single 'Wearing My Rolex'. It charted at Number 2 and was inescapable at festivals that summer. It brought controversy from the grime scene, however, as some viewed it as Wiley going back on his vow not to change his sound to break out of the underground.
In 2012, Wiley scored his first solo UK Number One with the single 'Heatwave'. The track featured guest vocals from Ms D and has since been certified gold.
In 2013, a petition featuring over 2,000 signatures was handed to Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman, requesting a stature of Wiley be erected in Mile End Park.
Wiley was the focus of another petition in 2015. Queen Mary University students Susanna Mollah and Navaid Ghouri started campaigning to get the London uni to rename their graduate centre after the MC, saying it would be a “fitting tribute” to his “drive and ambition”.
The same year, Wiley was honoured with a paving stone outside his former school from the MOBO Awards.
Whether Wiley's latest album is actually his last, as he says it is, remains to be seen. If it is then he'll have stopped releasing traditional LPs on a high - it's scored him his first Top 10 record and shows an artist at the very peak of his game.