as rumours of dizzee dissing wiley circulate, we look back over wiley’s finest clashes
We will always love the godfather of grime beef.
This article was originally published by i-D UK
News that Dizzee may have dissed Wiley on his upcoming album sent the internet (and Wiley) into a meltdown briefly yesterday. Before it was apparently proved incorrect ("I've had to stop smoking weed", admitted Wiley on Twitter earlier), it got us reminiscing over Wiley's historic beefs of yore.
One of the most practiced clashers in the scene, Wiley is a ferocious opponent, possessing an arsenal of one-liners, quick-witted retorts and a great line in your mum jokes.
Inspired by the thought of how Wiley might have responded to a Dizzee diss, we took a trip through the grime timeline for a fascinating glimpse into the mind of the MC, as we celebrate several other great moments in Wiley Beef History. You don't want war with the E3 Kid!
Wiley Vs…. Dirty Goodz
Widely considered grime's first 'proper' clash. When Wiley went on Choice FM in 2002 and started dissing Goodz, little did he expect Goodz and his brother Crazy Titch to turn up at the studio. #awkward.
This battle became deeply personal, so much so that even 15 years later, it's still a surprise -- a good one -- to see the pair have not only kissed and made up, but are back in the studio together.
Wiley vs… Lethal B
Though the pair are now best of pals, in this classic clash at Young Man Standing (captured on Practice Hours), there are no holds barred between Ronald McDonald and G.I. Joe, especially Wiley's killer closer, "Your mom's got athlete's foot".
Wiley vs… Nasty Jack
Spilling from a live clash at Sidewinder in 2006, onto a record in 2008, Jack's recorded response is vitriolic, to put it lightly.
Wiley vs… Skepta
Ultimately this was a fairly light-hearted fall-out between two pals who were releasing albums on the same day and thought a quick beef would help flog a few more copies. The 2009 feud didn't last too long: "You're my bredrin innit," Skepta noted, before sampling Damon Albarn and laughing that Wiley needs a tom-tom to find his way around east London. Remember tom-toms!
Well, spluttered Wiley, you live in Barnet and "none of us rate ya", before (temporarily) flouncing out of BBK.
Wiley vs… Chip
Prior to his own release of Heatwave (say no more), in 2010 Wiley had this to say to Tim Westwood about Chip's success with Oopsy Daisy etc.
"Do you know what happened bro? The same thing that happens to all young urban lads, it happens to all of us; he saw the money, he saw the status, trust me. He took pictures with Rihanna and this is what happened. He could have simply made it with Who You Are, them grime tunes. He could have took it through the door and won the race. That's what I believe. He turned left. But I don't hate him."
Here are the lads in happier times at one of Westwood's iconic freestyle sessions before anybody started making electro-house!
Wiley vs… Ed Sheeran
#TBT to 2012 and the time when Wiley dared take on that meanest of MCs Ed Sheeran. Eskiboy got annoyed that Ed wouldn't work with him, despite Wiley and half the scene appearing on an EP for Sheeran back in 2011 before Ed became the most famous person in the world ever and sold 100 million albums or whatever. Fret not, the pair are now pals, with Wiley telling the NME recently that Ed deserves to win the mag's Godlike Genius award. Phew!
Wiley vs… Tinie Tempah
Wiley really found his voice on social media, becoming one of grime's most mischievous tweeters. Twitter, admitted Wiley, is for "messing around and confrontation". Through the platform, Wiley has slewed everyone from Glastonbury, to his manager and many, many of his peers, including Tinie Tempah. This beef stayed online, with Wiley witheringly patronising Tinie's commercial success, accusing him, among other things, of copying Big Sean. He also took the piss out of Tinie's Eeny, Meeny, Miny lyrics and American accent. "I'm not against you Tin', I'm just pulling you up, it's a MC thing, I'm not a hater on you," he told 1Xtra's Breakfast Show in 2013. Tinie ignored Wiley for the most part, except this response to watching the grime scene onstage with Kanye at the Brits in 2015.
Wiley vs… Jay Sean
Another social media fall-out when Wiley, unprompted, got upset with Jay Sean for perceived disloyalty to British Asian and urban acts. Sean seemed genuinely confused by the attack, pointing out the pair had recently worked together on a remix. Things might have been ok if Wiley hadn't insisted on making some incredibly immature stupid racist 'jokes' before phoning Bobby Friction to apologise and then tweeting "lets [sic] get some unity going im [sic] ready to chill out now its [sic] all love and banter racial banter". Oh Wiley.
Wiley vs… Kano
This was never about beef, but is such a brilliant display of artistry, tenacity and dexterity that we just felt moved to include this legendary moment from Jammer's basement back in 2004. An exquisite lesson in the art of the clash, and further reminder of why Wiley is the best in Great Britain.
Text Hattie Collins