Review: Wiley ‘Snakes & Ladders’




For me it always seemed that grime became to commercialised to quickly for such a young genre of music. With the big names like Wiley, Dizzee Rascal and Kano signing to majors. Then there was Boy Better Know who didn’t. They just released on there own, staying true I guess. I’ve only recently got fully into grime, I didn’t really know a lot about it, I just used to listen to Dizzee’s first album ‘Boy In Da Corner’ and songs like ‘POW’ by Lethal Bizzle, then newer tracks like D Double E’s ‘Streetfighter Riddim’. Then last year one of my friends I met loved it, so of course I was listening to lots more, with him always playing grime new and old. So now I listen to quite a lot, and over the past 8 or 9 months grime has come back in full force! With tracks from JME, Elijah & Skilliam’s Fabriclive, them winning and not winning Red Bull’s Culture Clash, and then Skepta’s track of the year ‘Thats Not Me’ which has gone on to win a MOBO award! The video only cost £80 to make, and now the Godfather of Grime Wiley has returned to his roots with his 10th album ‘Snakes & Ladders’.

‘Snakes & Ladders’ came out on Monday and sees Wiley return home to Big Dada (Roots Manuva, Diplo, Spank Rock etc) It’s returns to the classic grime sound everyone missed, and features a lot of grime artists from JME, Stormzy, Solo 45, Footsie etc and also some friends from across the pond.

The album opens with the quick ‘Snakes & Ladders’ and you know Wiley is back, fast flow and fill of dark snares. Straight after comes the hit Skepta produced single ‘On A Level’ and its Wiley talking about how he represents everyone in grime its bouncy and wobbly bassline takes you in straight away! ‘From The Outside’ features JME and Teddy its a dubstep filled track with big harmonic bassline what just flows throughout and JME saying “Wiley is a national treasure” The album then continues on this grimy, dubstep path until ‘Lonely’ featuring J.R Writer, Problem, Gudda Gudda and Cam’ron. It’s very american, but it works full of horns almost sounding like Hudson Mohawks ‘Chimes’ It takes the album in a good different direction. The album then goes back into it’s grimy roots and then ends on the lengthy ‘Snakes & Ladders (Part 2)’ which is basically a homage to his songs old and new.

Wiley’s return to the roots of grime is a very good thing. Not just for grime but for everyone else. Who ever said going back was a bad thing? I’m hungry for more grime and with new albums from Skepta and JME coming soon. Its on massive rise and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, GRIME IS BACK!


Key Tracks: ‘On A Level’ ‘Badman’ ‘Reel Off’ and ‘Snakes & Ladders (Part 2)’


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