SummaryWiley, the pioneer, the founding father, the maverick, the relentless innovator, releases his brand new (and possibly last) album. A blazing return to the experimental crucible of the East London music known as grime, Playtime Is Over offers everything that is most brutal, cutting edge, funny, clever, terrifying and moving about the sound and the world which created it.
Over the course of 15 tracks, Wiley boasts of his pre-eminence, tells stories of his life and background, reveals a sensitive side that won't surprise anyone who has met him, bigs up Bow and, in general, splatters his life and thoughts and feelings over beats in a way which hasn't been bettered in the short but incident-packed history of a scene whose mainstream acceptance is barely five years old. The majority of the music on Playtime Is Over is produced by the man himself, with occasional assistance from the likes of JME ('No Qualms') and Maniac (the aural assault of 'Bow E3').
The handful of guest MCs and vocalists on the album were equally carefully selected; one-time rival and rising star Scorcher lends his musical flow to 'Fly Boy,' Jukie Mundo's ultratight delivery rails over 'Stars' and the dulcet tones of Rachel provides the chorus to 'Come Lay With Me.' Rather than the "pop" experiments that were forced on Wiley while producing Roll Deep's In At The Deep End, here he revels in his ability to weld together screeching keyboards, elastic bass drops and pounding beats into instantly catchy, hugely more-ish bursts of noise. Right from the opening bars of '50/50' you know you're in for a treat.
Wiley is a true maverick who has recently announced that he will retire from MCing after the release of Playtime Is Over and, if this is true, the grime world will be an infinitely poorer place without the many stories and legends the man has inspired.