Album Review: Wiley – ‘100% Publishing’

The madness of King Wiley continues

There’s this bloke that gets on my bus and sits there screaming that he’s a deposed king. He reminds me of Wiley, except [a]Wiley[/a] isn’t a psychiatric patient, he actually is king of the Eski ring. While P-Money and Trim champion the new wave of grime, Wiley’s love for ranting and riling the younger generation apropos of nothing has them bitching about his lack of relevance. So, to release ‘100% Publishing’, which as the title track says is solely a product of [a]Wiley[/a], is a bold riposte to those suggesting that slanging matches with 15-year-olds on the internet prove he’s a man gone off the rails.

It’s an album that smacks of him not giving one, as he proclaims over the minimalist bounce of ‘Yonge Street’: “People come on Twitter and say Wiley you’re pathetic/Then I just make a song and tell ’em I don’t need your credit”. The air of hysteria throughout, most noticeable on ‘Boom Boom Da Na’ and ‘I Just Woke Up’, conjures up images of him locked in the studio on intravenous caffeine for days on end. It’s an ambitious project that works only because he’s an unhinged anomaly.

The return to Big Dada and the radio-friendly ‘Numbers In Action’ hint that this album could court the mainstream without compromising his grime grounding. It’s also miles more accomplished than ‘Playtime Is Over’. But the biggest relief is the lack of euphoric trance tunes, the likes of which other MCs have been lazily riding to the charts. Complex and slightly schizophrenic, ‘100% Publishing’ is a winner, even if the man himself is a PR’s nightmare. Long live King Wiley.

Jo Fuertes-Knight

Order a copy of Wiley’s ‘100% Publishing’ from Amazon