With Drake’s reboot of Top Boy and its accompanying soundtrack dropping this Friday, not everyone in the UK scene is celebrating his efforts to expose it to a wider audience. Grime veteran Wiley hit BBC Radio’s 1Xtra Breakfast show earlier today to continue his crusade against both Drake and Ed Sheeran, griping that the two big-name artists were simply using grime culture to get ahead.
In a 15-minute conversation with host Amplify Dot — aka Dotty — Wiley called Drake a “pagan,” saying, “My man is bringing out people like he is Jesus Christ the savior… Mandem who are not from the hood come to places and try and get involved with man from the hood.” Although Dotty pushes back, wondering whether Drake’s embrace of the grime scene is mutually beneficial, bringing attention to the underground culture it might not receive otherwise, Wiley assigns wholly selfish motivations to his Canadian counterpart: “He’s not embracing the scene, he’s doing it for himself.”
Wiley also doubled down on his criticism of Ed Sheeran for putting Stormzy on his “Take Me Back To London” remix, saying, “I’m mad at Ed Sheeran because he said ‘You need me man, I don’t need you.’ But Ed, the other day mate, you had to use grime to tip your song over the edge.” He also decried Ed’s omnivorous influences, calling him instead an artist who “rips off” sounds from other, more established artists. “I’ve listened to you rip off Marvin Gaye, I’ve listened to you rip off everything,” he says. “I see you do a tune the other day with Justin Bieber that sounds like a ragga tune from Sting. No one is saying nothing about that, though. So I’m not listening. I’m finished with these people.”