nominee number eleven.

wiley "tredding on thin ice" (xl)

nearly there!! ...

wiley appears, amongst the critical cognoscenti, to suffer from not being dizzee rascal. the real mercury nomination can only have excluded wiley on the basis that his eski-beat creations are still grounded in his labelmate and former roll deep crew member's mc-led grime / garage sound, which he himself struggles to pigeonhole with the brilliant lead single "wot do u call it ?", and which dizzee as his mentee spearheaded, at least in mass-market terms. this is rather unfair given that most acts these days sound quite like thousands of other acts, rather than only one...

anyway, the wiley kat is blokier than dizzee. his voice is less instantly-memorable, but his love of repetition, especially with rhymes, is a trademark, as his constant questioning throughout the album of where he is ("i've got to get up off the floor") and his occasional lairy semi-sanity ("i'm wiley / i'm grimey... i'm a tiger / e3 tiger" or "who ate all the pies / it was me, wiley"). the main feel of "treddin on thin ice" is of slow-ish, rounded, eski beats being rapped over at velocity, enhanced by the hi-tempo single "wot do u call it", the r&b sampling "special girl" and the tinchy stryder-featuring "next level" (anything featuring tinchy is good...) wiley may not quite have invented a musical movement, but he has perfected one.


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