Wiley – The Godfather 3 – In Review – By DirtyCipher
Wiley, pioneer, and Godfather of Grime, at the end of an already successful twenty year reign, has come and delivered a masterpiece; ‘Godfather 3’.
All 22 tracks come fresh, like Grime was brand new, with this, the 3rd instalment in his Godfather series, and Wiley has really surpassed himself, cementing his legacy, and position at the very top of the scene, for good.
An excellently crafted project, featuring a host of MCs, both OG, and NewGen, with production from a variety of top class producers (showcasing exceptional beat selection), and mixed and mastered to the highest quality, Godfather 3 is both an outstanding example of Grime, and a testament to the Grime legacy that Wiley has been trying to leave behind; that each person who gets somewhere off the back of it, come back and help someone else do the same, and in this way contribute to the scene as a whole. Something Wiley has always said and done.
Delayed from release several times, Wiley has battled to get this album to the fans, and the scene, and has been harassed non stop since he first mentioned it on Twitter quite some time ago, but the overwhelming response, in its first day of release, is that it has been absolutely worth the wait, with fellow musicians and fans alike, all in agreement that it’s his best album yet.
Intro, Prod. Infamous – The opening track sets pace, with a high energy, jumpy riddim, heavy string melody, distorted horn bassline, and choir synths shots, then Wiley comes hard from the jump, shelling about doing a Grime album because it’s his passion, he’s reminds everyone been here from early, still, it’s his house, and just because everyone copped the wave and ran with it, doesn’t mean they should forget where they came from. He states that he’s still the best, and still putting in work for everyone else, so certain man should pipe down. Hard.
Come Home, Ft Blay Vision & Realz, Prod. Maniac – With a classic Grime atmospheric Soundscape, an 8 bit sounding melody, and computer synths as a backdrop, Realz shares that he’s been in the trenches, so he’s really about it, and though it’s all about the music now, you should be careful how you move around him, still. Blay shells down about being in it, and real from time, about how he’s lived through road and paid with pain, but that although Grime ain’t for the weak hearted, he manages to get it, still. Wiley spits that Grime is home, so he had to come back and lift it back up, to give it what it gave him, and to get the new generation on the same track, both literally and figuratively. Cold.
The Game, Prod. ZDot & Krunchie – A string melody and warped bassline, provide the background for this pattern, with Wiley spraying that he can take anyone on his ones, from day to now and he’s still getting the bag. He shares that he cant stand the greedy snakes, and though he likes the real G’s, he’ll still roll on his own. He drops bars about certain man who are only on the take, and knowing who’s just come to reap the benefits, and who’s come to help sew. He says he ain’t letting nuttin by him, remarking that certain man ain’t really about smoke, and that he’s their dad anyway. He warns them to be careful, or he’ll ‘change the locks’, because he’s in it for passion, they’re in it for greed and he sees them. Deep.
Da Vibes Is Back, Prod. ZDot – Coming with a crunchy bassline and a haunting melody with an offkey vibe, Wiley spits about being the best, and how he’s bussing them that work for it and no one else. He drops gems about how the potential for Grime is huge, but noone’s tried to build the scene proper, so since his wave’s the biggest, he’ll do it.
Protect The Empire, Ft. Jammz & K9, Prod. Thomas Mellor – This track has an overall laid back, oriental vibe. Wiley spits about how he made the genre, so he’s gotta grow the scene right, he’s still driven by the passion, and now he’s passing the torch and really building the foundation. K9 shells that he’s coming for his, and that he doesn’t do fakes, he’s not impressed by that noise because he’s real, so be careful with him. Jammz spits that he’s been here from day, he’s the best, and gives a shoutout to all the OGs, stating they’re coming take the spots they deserve. Cold.
Eskimo Dance, Ft. Big Swingz, Breeze, Capo Lee, Delusion (UK), Ears, Flowdan, Jammer, Jammz, K9, Tempa T, Ten Dixon, Prod. Dizzee Rascal, Wiley, Sticky, Youngstar, Dexplicit, Dom Perignon, Wookie, Macabre Unit, Jon E Cash, Daz-I-Kue, DJ Eastwood, Cleptomaniacs, & Hindzy D – An 8 bar rally, over a bag of classic instrumentals brings a torrent of Grime’s past, rushing bang up to date. With each man spitting pure wheel up’s, and going absolutely ham, Wiley reminds us where it all started, with a host of both original, and new MCs, the track has a wicked duality. Nostalgic and new all at once.
Alla Dem, Prod. Scratcha – comes simple, but hard with it, with horn synths, heavy kicks and claps and computer accents, this is a heavy track! Wiley snapped on this one, what a riddim! This one’s for all the fakes and snakes, for everyone that’s done the dip after using him for a leg up, for everyone chatting breeze about him for clout, and for anyone who thinks they’re a better MC. Wiley warns them man he noticed, and he ain’t forgetting none of it, it’s everyone’s scene, but he’s the top boy still, even though there are many pretenders. He doesn’t need breaders, he’s already made it, so now he’ll just merk a man for fun. Come onnn! The whole pattern is punctuated throughout by Riko, in his deep patois flow, with ‘kill alla dem’. What a tuuune, levels.
Bars, Ft. DDoubleE, Prod. Swifta – This one comes with a haunting string synth melody, a heavy kick, and a slower overall vibe, for Wiley to reminisce about radio sets and war, and DDouble to do what he does best, spraying about the levels, and the work rate these Grime legends have. Later both MCs pay homage to smoking, and remind everyone they’re the best, they’re veterans in this, and they’ve been working from early. They’ve got it on lock. Vibes.
Family (2020) Ft. Flirta D, Footsie & Goldie1, Prod. Mr Virgo – this one has an aggressive and atmospheric, science fiction like tone to it. Wiley shares that he’s on a family vibe, and he does it for them, and lifting them up, but also states he’ll always love his ends, and will always come back. Flirta & Footsie echo the sentiment, adding that no family slander will be tolerated, and that Grime is family, still. Heavy.
This Is It, Prod. Flylo – With atmospheric soundscapes, this trap inspired riddim switches up the pace, with a different flow from Wiley, as he raps about getting ‘back on his shit’, making sure he does right by the ones he loves, and remembering business and friends don’t mix. A full wave.
Bruce Wayne, Prod. Dexplicit – This one has a menacing, big orchestral sound to back Wiley’s bars war. *This track has been previously reviewed in depth, upon release, this review can be found here.
Double Dragon by Wiley & J2K, Prod. Masro – A drum based, computer synth heavy, jumpy vibe, backs the MCs as they spit about putting in the work to be where they are now, about never slowing down and still merking as a result, and still getting the bag, after all this time. Greazyyy.
Starring, Ft. GHSTLYXXVII, Jammer & K9 – With an aggressive punchy track, coming like shells to your chest, Wiley comes dark on this one, patterning the hook about radio, road, and putting in work. K9 spits about not being war shy, being real and knowing who’s a fake, or not. GHSTLYXXVII shells about road and music bringing all the gyal, and his life being a movie, and Jammer patterns the riddim with bars about being in it from day, and reppin it ‘to the death’. Heavy.
Amsterdam, Ft Breeze, Manga St. Hilare & Scratchy, Prod. Wiley (Morgue Remix) – Classic jumpy vibes for this one, with Wiley driving home the point that he can still come school these man, any time he feels like it, because he’s been real from day. Manga shells down the pattern spitting about work rate, and noone matching the quality. Breeze spits about never falling off, and Scratchy spits about being real beating being fake, all day. Shells.
Balance, Ft Aisa, Prod. Terror Danjah – With underwater, muted, soft tones, this is a riddim about gyal, and the push pull nature of relationships. Emotional ones.
Free Spirit, Prod. Rymez – Another slower tempo vibe, and another emotionally charged tune. *This track has been previously reviewed in depth, upon release, this review can be found here.
Light Work, Prod. K-Notes & Freeza Chin – This one brings the pace back up again, with a hip hop influenced, dramatic, atmospheric riddim. Wiley patterns the track with more insights into his life, his music, and his view of the world. He shares that he doesn’t ask for handouts, he works hard for what he earns, and reminds everyone he’s still at the top of the game. He projects about teaching his son the same pattern, and shouts out Skepta for beating down new doors. Later he shares how happy he is contributing to a better life for his family, and how he never wants to see his own son in the streets, like him. In essence, he’s found the pattern, and he intends to pass it straight on to his family, exactly the same attitude he has for the Grime scene.
Rinse, Prod. Donae’O – This one comes jumpy with it, a drum heavy, sparse and funky tune, where Wiley sprays the riddim with heavy radio set vibes, and flows from the past in places, as he shares tales from the road, people trying to block him, and how they’re really only shutting themselves out of his house, because he can’t stand greed, in man or gyal. He shouts out Zeze Mills as he goes on to detail how he just wants the type of woman he can build with, not a bag of gyal all trying to flex. Then later he remixes his famous, early radio set bars ‘It’s Wiley and I’m getting ‘em hyper’ to remind everyone exactly who he is. Cold.
Image Ting, Prod JLSXND7RS – This riddim comes with a big, big orchestral, sound, to back Wiley, keeping the pace of the end of the previous track, as he takes this one to flex, reminding everyone of how well he’s done for himself, how long he’s been doing well, checking off all the people he’s watched come through, as well as remarking on how he knows who’s a real one, or not. He takes aim at certain man, stating they could never try him, because he’s been in the dojo since before they even knew it existed. Hard.
West London, Ft. Big Zuu, Direman, GHSTLYXXVII & K9, Prod. Crafty 893 – This one comes with a certain drilly vibe, to back the West London MCs, who all come hard with it, shelling about being the best MC, the hardest to ever do it, and deading any man on the mic, a classic staple of Grime, both in topic, style, and flows. Greazyyy.
South London, Ft. Blessed UK, Crafty 893, Faultz, Jon E Clayface & Ten Dixon, Prod. Mazza – Not to leave South out of the game, Wiley did it again. Backed by an eerie, purist Grime riddim, South’s MCs rep the scene cold, spitting about work rate, realness, and road. Darker settings.
Press Record – The closing track of the album changes pace again with a slower vibe, all vocal synths and melody strokes. Wiley gets real with it on this one, explaining where he’s coming from with all the furore surrounding what he’s had to say about the music industry, and people moving differently and getting in the way of his music. He shares how he got locked off after securing the Nicki Minaj feature, and he saw everyone moving shady around it. He explains he trusts noone, and continues to roll on his own, despite lamenting this fact. He remarks that in fact, he got his scar because noone ever treated him like a real person, because of the fame, but finishes with bars about still being right at the top, still winning, building bigger, and not retiring…stay tuned!
Wiley has put this project together with one goal in mind; Building a solid foundation for his genre, and giving it back what it gave him. He has achieved this by bridging the gap between OG and New Gen MCs, and between Grime’s history, and it’s present, using a broad range of production, to showcase Grime’s potential for diversity, as well as the skill of all the producers and MCs involved. The entire album flows seamlessly, from one tune to the next, despite having a vast range of styles, and is mixed and mastered flawlessly. Easily one of, if not the best Grime album to date, this is the project to secure its future.
Godfather 3, a fresh classic!
Stellar. Cop it here