Wiley
Godfather


3.5
great

Review

by Mort. CONTRIBUTOR (56 Reviews)
January 25th, 2017 | 85 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Only Wiley could put out an album titled Godfather and not come off as arrogant.

Only Wiley could put out an album titled Godfather and not come off as arrogant. It is, after all, the name given to him by the grime scene out of respect, recognition of the tremendous influence he’s had on a genre that hasn’t had many “big names” to tout in its relatively short lifespan. It was his forays into the chart world - where he toned down grime’s bare-faced swagger to appease the masses – that were responsible for drawing attention to the then fledgling genre and Wiley himself. “Name Brand” is a reference to this fame, a nod to the fact that Wiley is the most well-known artist in grime; his “name's gonna ring bells to newspaper readers” as he puts it.

Although it’s clear from the start that Godfather isn’t tailored to the general audience. This is unapologetically grime-y grime, filled to the brim with thumping, wobbling bass and Wiley’s signature “liquid flow”. This isn’t surprising considering Godfather is supposedly Wiley’s last LP, one last salvo of grime bangers to close out his career and cement his place in grime history. Opener “Birds n Bars” understandably wastes little time in cutting to the action, setting the scene with cloudy nostalgia to prepare us for Wiley’s last hurrah. And he doesn’t disappoint, spraying out his bars at intensely high speeds, providing flurries of well-deserved brags regarding his ubiquity as well as his legacy as the godfather. His experience shows through his flawless flow, bars spinning off relentlessly at dizzying speeds.

If anything it's Godfather’s lyrics that are a let-down. Now, grime has never been a genre that’s relied on clever wordplay, instead putting emphasis on rapid-fire flows that can keep up with the bouncing bass-lines and frantic beats, but that doesn’t excuse the sup-par moments (the pathetically earnest love focused lyrics on “U Were Always, Pt.2”, for example). Annoyingly, it’s not even Wiley but his features that fail to impress. Why he sullied his final effort by letting so many unproven young artists come onto this I will never know; all they achieve is killing any momentum Wiley’s rapid flow builds with their inane lyrics. This results in the best tracks being those that only Wiley is present on, while the others become just another grime track prevented from being spectacular by plain amateurism.

Godfather does redeem itself through two detours though. “U were Always, Pt.2” may have some really bad lyrics, but its smooth, laid back, RnB approach is a welcome change and surprisingly well done. “Laptop” too stands out for its heavily digital aesthetic, and although it may sound a bit like Wiley’s been paid to do a MacBook Pro promotion at parts, it’s indicative of the skill that puts him above the rest in a genre that flounders in mediocrity: which is why it’s such a shame he’s supposedly bowing out.



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user ratings (90)
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2017


14566 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

fav album of 2017 so far

Digging: The Chameleons - Script of the Bridge

Sinternet
January 25th 2017


20536 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It slaps

Digging: SeeYouSpaceCowboy... - The Correlation Between Entrance And Exit Wounds

Sinternet
January 25th 2017


20536 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Name Brand is like my least fave off this tbh





Birds n bars is soty so far tho

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2017


14566 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yes it does



seriously tho its annoying that my main issue with this isnt even Wiley but all the shit rappers doing features

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2017


14566 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

damn man i love name brand



my fav is probably speakerbox or back with a banger



Tracks i really like: Bird n bars, bring them all, name brand, speaker box, back with a banger, laptop



everything else is either pretty decent or just meh, nothing here that i absolutely cant stand





Sinternet
January 25th 2017


20536 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Idk i think the features on name brand dont fit but as you said its an overarchimg theme on this album



Great start to the year for grime anyway

ShitsofRain
January 25th 2017


8162 Comments


macbook pro forever and the features are not bad tbh

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2017


14566 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

not all the features are awful, i like jme, skepta and frisco to name a few



my least fav feature has got to be devlin, fuck that guy

danielcardoso
January 25th 2017


11770 Comments


Congrats on ya feature Mort, nice one.

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2017


14566 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers, feels good to give grime a bit more exposure

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2017


10120 Comments


Two Mort reviews in a week, we are blessed

There were a few nitpick things I'll get to in a moment when I'm not on mobile.

Ofc it's still a good review, pos.

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2017


14566 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks man



There are a few sentences that read weirdly to me that i plan on dealing with in a bit

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2017


10120 Comments


"...respect; recognition of the tremendous influence..."

As the thought after the semicolon is incomplete/could not stand on its own I'd opt for a dash or a colon. The two dashes in the sentence after this could be commas instead tbh

"Although it’s clear from the start that Godfather isn’t tailored to the general audience."

If you want, putting a comma in front of 'Although' would bring more emphasis on the fact that this is, indeed, different from his past work.

"If anything its Godfather’s lyrics that are a let-down."

Could use a comma after 'anything' and an apostrophe for 'its'

Also--this is just personal preference--I don't like how the summary and first sentence are the exact same. As the summary is what is generally read first, it feels a bit jarring and breaks the review's flow for a moment.

Like I said, all just little nitpicks, it's a good review without a doubt, brief and to the point.



Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2017


14566 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I agree on the first part but with regards to the adding commas to those two short sentences, i prefer them without the commas because it keeps them brief

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2017


10120 Comments


Yeah that's perfectly fine, it was just a suggestion. You keep it how you want it my man

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2017


14566 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

And thanks for spotting that missing apostrophe

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2017


10120 Comments


Marsbro always lookin out for trouble o/

Cimnele
January 25th 2017


1431 Comments


"Only Wiley could put out an album titled Godfather and not come off as arrogant."

who's Wiley

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2017


14566 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Guessing your're not from the uk?

Cimnele
January 25th 2017


1431 Comments


im from teh north, grime isn't on anyone's lips here
except literally

it's all arctic monkeys cover bands



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