‘Can’t Go Wrong’ also showcases Wiley’s longevity without compromising his sound and gives you a good idea of what his forthcoming album is due to sound like.
Every year, during awards season, ahead of every ceremony there's a prominent focus on the major accolades including Best Artist, Best Male, Best Female and of course, Best Album. However, for me, the category I'm always most excited by - in this case specifically at the 2016 MOBO Awards - is Best Newcomer. This isn't to take anything away from the other categories, but in my opinion, they are pretty much always already spoken for - apart from Skepta's shock Mercury Prize win.
At the Rated Awards this year, you could have guessed that the likes of Skepta, Giggs, Kano and Stormzy would be up for Best Artist and at the MOBO Awards you would assume that Konnichiwa, Landlord and Made in the Manor would be in the running for Best Album. But Best Newcomer is always a little bit more difficult to determine. You might be able to make an educated guess at who could be included, but I feel like the category is always one of the most competitive and it’s therefore harder to work out the odds.
The list of artists competing for this year’s award - which has previously honoured the likes of Rita Ora, Kano, Tinie Tempah, Estelle and Ms Dynamite - includes 67, AJ Tracey, Avelino, Izzy Bizu, MoStack, Kojey Radical, Nadia Rose, Ray BLK, Anne-Marie and WSTRN. The list, in my opinion, has a strong grime ambassador in AJ Tracey, a promising UK Rap contingent in Avelino, 67, MoStack and Nadia Rose, an exciting creative in Kojey Radical and a substantial selection of talented R&B acts and vocalists in WSTRN, Ray BLK, Anne-Marie and Izzy Bizu. For me, this encompasses the diversity and promise of the new generation of UK talent and whoever takes home the gong will have done well to have won over this small set of their gifted contemporaries.
Check out the full list of nominations here and make sure you cast your vote.
If you read this column regularly, you’ll know that I’m always excited by new, up and coming talent in UK rap and Grime, but, as I’ve been a fan/critic of these genres since their conception, I still get gassed when we receive a new cut from one of the veterans.
Last week saw Wiley tease his new ‘Godfather’ album with his latest track, Can’t Go Wrong. The track addresses Wiley’s authenticity which, to be honest, has come under scrutiny in the past when he’s veered off into the commercial scene. Regardless, in my opinion it can’t really come into contention. As one of the pioneers, if not creators, of Grime Wiley’s sometimes controversial decisions have to be respected because they have helped pave the way for the genre so that up and coming acts don’t necessarily have to take as many risks.
‘Can’t Go Wrong’ also showcases Wiley’s longevity without compromising his sound and gives you a good idea of what his forthcoming album is due to sound like. The visuals only support this authenticity and Wiley’s position in Grime with cameos from some of his fellow originators as well as the current scene’s poster boys. Press play below.
Another MC who originated from Roll Deep along with Wiley but has gone in a slightly different direction is Trim. The east London rapper recently released his collaborative project with 1-800 Dinosaurs which, in my opinion, is one of the most exciting, creative projects we’ve had in the past couple of years. And following this, he jumped on Lixo’s new track ‘Writers Block’ which showcases a similar, experimental side to Trim. His lethargic, arrogant flow sits on the beat nicely and adds to the weird, trippy vibe which I could imagine in an Ibiza super club accompanied by neon lasers and an assembly of less than sober ravers.
I’m a massive fan of Trim’s new direction but if you disagree and think he should stick to the 140 bpm of Grime, feel free to let me know at @fennelley.
Next up we’ve got a freestyle from some of the YGs - specifically YGG. Logan Sama’s new BBC Radio 1 residency has already seen some impressive freestyles from the likes of Frisco, Flowdan, Chip and The Square and this up and coming Grime collective followed them up nicely. The plethora of flows and one liners as well as the organic Grime sound will give the genre’s purists faith in the young generation and will also have the crowds at the live shows calling for the obligatory wheel up.
Words: Patrick Fennelly