Some people just can’t take a compliment. In the early ’00s, the London rapper and producer Wiley more or less invented the genre and aesthetic of UK grime. In the nearly 20 years since then, Wiley has made it clear that he is not fond of just about anyone else who has found success making grime. Wiley has spent time over the years feuding with former collaborators like Dizzee Rascal and Skepta. And now he’s beefing with Stormzy, the most successful rapper ever to come out of the grime universe.
Since his meteoric rise, Stormzy has done everything he could to pay tribute to his grime forebears. When he headlined Glastonbury last year, for instance, Stormzy paused his set to shout out every grime artist he could think of. And late last year, Stormzy also released a track called “Wiley Flow,” which he included on the just-released album Heavy Is The Head. The track pays homage to Wiley and includes a few flows taken directly from old Wiley tracks. Pretty good song!
Wiley did not immediately seem upset about “Wiley Flow.” But in recent months, he and Stormzy have been sparring on Twitter. Wiley seems to object to Stormzy’s willingness to make pop music and to collaborate with people like Ed Sheeran. All this comes to the surface on “Eediyat Skengman (Stormzy Send),” a new Wiley track that popped up online over the weekend. On that song, Wiley specifically calls out Stormzy: “It’s not homage, looking like a sly one / I know when a brother and a label join together and they try one / They all copy me, they want some of my one… You never cared about grime, you just used it / Worse than Ed with your watered-down music.” Fighting words!
Stormzy must’ve had some idea that this was coming. He’s already come out with a response called “Disappointed.” It’s got a video and everything. On the song, Stormzy shoots right back at Wiley: “Wiley’s a prick cuz he love talk shit, then he sobers up and then begs it / I’m so big that the only thing bigger than me last year was Brexit… The old man’s got a death wish / Old man, you’ll regret this.”
Apparently, this is part of a larger grime saga that involves people like Dot Rotten, JAY1, Jaykae, Skepta’s Boy Better Know crew, and Stormzy’s past issues with Wiley’s brother Cadell. It is almost certainly not going to end with this.