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Richard Kylea Cowie (born 19 January 1979), better known by his stage name Wiley, is an English rapper, MC, songwriter, record producer and recording artist with Caribbean roots from Trinidad and Antigua. His music is mainly grime, but he also makes music in garage, hip hop, rap, electronic and pop. Best known for his top 10 hits "Wearing My Rolex", "Never Be Your Woman" and his UK number 1 "Heatwave", he is a pioneer in the UK underground music scene and a versatile artist with many crossover hits. He is stated by many grime fans to be the "Godfather Of Grime".
Wiley's earliest recordings date back to 1997, when he featured on pirate radio stations rapping over jungle beats. In 2000, Wiley joined with "The Hit Squad", a garage crew with his school friends DJ Target and MC Maxwell D. They achieved some success on the UK Garage scene and soon decided to combine with rival crew Pay As U Go to become a 'super crew' containing members of Ladies Hit Squad, as well as DJ Slimzee and MC's Major Ace and Plague. God's Gift, Flow Dan and Riko joined soon after. In 2002 the collective achieved a top 40 hit "Champagne Dance"
After Pay As U Go disbanded Wiley went on to form the Roll Deep collective, which included Dizzee Rascal and Tinchy Stryder. They moved away from a traditional UK Garage sound, and eventually found themselves creating music that would be termed grime.
From 2001 onwards, Wiley began producing instrumental singles on his WileyKitKat Record label. The most famous ones are the "Eskimo", "Avalanche" and "Ice Rink". These led to a solo record deal with XL Recordings.Wide ThumbClearartFanartBanner User Comments