Wiley - Playtime Is Over





Right, I figured the best way to review and understand this LP was to walk the area of London from which Wiley and compatriots such as Mr Dizzee Rascal descend...

Yes boss, I listened to Playtime Is Over on my walkman phone in Bow, E3

Blimey! Is this a sign Paul Giovanni's to stop talking nonsense to women all day and buckle down to a complete and absolute dedication to his music reviewing job??

Hell no, Giovanni lives in Bow E3.

So all i needed to do was open the front door, lock it (check it's locked) walk down the stairs, go out of the security gate, shut the security gate (check it's locked) walk through the car park (Did i turn the hob off? What about the doors? Did i definately lock them?? Have I got my keys?? Where's my money??) and go through the second security gate (check it's locked) and I was in Bow E3 - the very hood that's given birth to the only credible form of Hip Hop the UK has produced......

Now don't get me wrong. This isn't some kind of mean boast or claim that I'm, down with the hip hop kids. I've never cruised around this hood on my mountain bike with a sheath knife selling blow, I'm most definately not down with any kind of kids and I really had very little choice but to live here in Bow E3. I do however love the place, and so it seems does Wiley...

Yes boss, so much does Wiley love Bow E3, that track no2 of this LP is called Bow E3. And as i was walking around listening to it, I felt even more at home than normal. Roman Road, St Stephens, Devons Row ..It was like walking around town with an audio guidebook

So what?

Well for my limited money, Grime/Eskibeat or whatever you care to call it is
being very seriously underappreciated because it's a little hardcore, because the trendmakers and PR record bizz goonshits can't get over the four white boys in a band thing AND because these folk are shit scarred they'll get stabbed if they come anywhere near Wileys Bow E3. I mean, sure such shits'll turn up to a REAL EASTEND PUB to take some pictures of the graffiti and sample the traditional Belgian Beer, but nothing more, and as a result an exciting and dynamic musical movement remains more or less underground...

And this is a shame because Bow E3 is where it's at for Grime. All the prime movers live in or around the Stratford/Bow/Limehouse/Bromley-By-Bow area and the sharp, taught aggresive rap style and hammer blasting screw fuck jacking beats are unique, and something I believe to be very special that's happening right now...

For me, the great thing about this particular LP is that it reflects the general atmosphere of Bow E3, not just the crime and violence that occasionally occurs and that Grime is tarred with being completely embroiled in..

Sure Bow, can be a pretty hardcore place to love and live. A new corner shop recently opened and a week later, the front was defaced with paint (apparent turf wars). Then last week it was robbed at gunpoint. Then there was the discovery of somekind of real life torture dungeon, and there was the time I saw an early teenager pull a hammer on his mate and these are just 4 or 5 incidents off the top of my head...

But to only see this in Bow E3 and Grime is to ignore the love, warmth and real and proper people that make Bow E3 and Grime a good place to be hearing and living...

So the LP...

Well Playtime Is Over is a strong, but beautiful beast of an album.
The production is fast, clean and heavy. The lyrical delivery dynamic, hard and at times viciously visceral. There are however more mellow, warm, soulful and caring moments..

Tracks like Baby Girl, Come Lay With Me and Nothing About Me almost lean towards R'N'B and map out the far greater complexity to both the Grime sound and it's creators own lives...

So, in short, this is a quality, clever and strong listen and one more than worthy of your full and complete concentration.


Overall

8

out of 10

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