"Godfather II" is the twelth studio album by English grime MC Wiley. It was released on 27th April 2018 through CTA Records.
If it’s anything like its cinematic namesake, this follow-up to Wiley’s 2017 album Godfather should be more complex and narratively ambitious than its predecessor. Unfortunately that doesn’t always turn out to be the case.
In terms of sequencing, it is very similar, with an opening salvo of crisp grime bangers segueing into broader experiments. Been a While’s pestering repetition of “Eskiboy” is an annoying bit of brand management, though I Call the Shots is exactly the kind of track that lets Wiley fly, its Chicago house-style bassline and spacious grime drum programming allowing his precise flow to scurry with ferrety energy. It’s a reminder that the pleasure of Wiley is more in this club PA dexterity than his lyrics. The tame likes of “BBK is the squad / without us, things’ll be odd” feel lacking sat next to neat JME guest bars such as “I make everybody fix up like Ofsted”.
Some early fans might feel these tracks don’t chime with Wiley’s idiosyncratic voice, but he is underrated when exploring relationships, and is adapting fairly smoothly to a world where Afro-swing is dominant and grime has waned (at least in terms of the zeitgeist). Any potential Godfather III should end up better than the movie.
Reviewed by Ben Beaumont-Thomas for theguardian.com.