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"You Will Pay For This You Tramp I Hate You": from <i>Zip Files</i> to aborted porn videos, we outline Wiley's maddest moments

“I hate being a idiot but sometimes people only listen when you are being a idiot.”

Yesterday, UK rapper Wiley leaked his new album The Ascent after a disagreement with his label, Warner, about the version of the record that had been submitted to iTunes. The news, to Wiley fans at least, didn’t come as a surprise: few artists on any continent have quite the same reputation for unpredictability, and after all, this wasn’t even Wiley’s most high profile album leak. In Wiley’s time, he’s publicly hired and fired management, pissed off every major label in existence, spent multiple days squabbling with fans on Twitter and internet message boards, and in 2008, didn’t even turn up to the video shoot for his most high-profile single to date. What follows is a timeline of some of our favourite Wiley incidents – and we haven’t even got into the whole Dizzee saga.

 

Getting beaten up live on Rinse FM (2006)

Quite possibly the most entertaining two hours of Wiley’s career. December 2006 saw Wiley and DJ Maximum take over Rinse FM for a two hour show that saw, in no particular order, Wiley argue with Rinse FM listeners on MSN Messenger; Wiley call out long-time friend God’s Gift for being “a donut”; Wiley call out Logan Sama for being a coward (for not playing a Wiley diss track aimed at God’s Gift on Kiss FM); Wiley shout out “those who try and leave grime – I tried it before all of you, it doesn’t work”; and finally, God’s Gift and his crew Mucky Wolfpack run up on the set and forcibly remove Wiley from the mic. Some people claim this was fake, we honestly have no idea, but it hasn’t aged a day.

Wiley vs. The Movement (2006)

We can’t remember how Wiley’s beef with The Movement (a crew comprising Scorcher, Ghetto, Devlin, Wretch 32 and others) started exactly, but it finished with the best diss track in grime’s history, ‘Nightbus Dubplate’, an almost six-minute stream-of-consciousness assault where the Godfather – and self-appointed protector – of grime called out The Movement for sounding too American (“about The Movement’s like D-Block … you’re from England you batties“) and, amazingly, too happy (“there’s no pain in the camp, everyone’s so happy”), while also tackling the more sensitive issues of death, rape and, er, custard.

‘Wearing my Rolex’ (2008)

‘Rolex’ is, of course, the 2008 single that put Wiley on the major label circuit and should have charted as his first #1 (instead, he had to wait for 2012’s ‘Heatwave’ to hit top spot). But this entry isn’t anything to do with the song; instead, it regards the video shoot, which Wiley famously didn’t show up for. UK newspaper The Sun ran a story claiming that this was because Wiley suffered from a fear of foxes – an animal that featured heavily in the video. Wiley later claimed that this was nonsense, and that if he encountered a fox on a dark night he would simply feed it chicken bones. As you do.

Wiley vs. RWD Forum (2008)

Before he – or anybody, at that – became obsessed with Twitter, Wiley developed a fixation with urban magazine RWD‘s message forum, and spent a healthy chunk of 2008 squabbling online with people that were far younger than him. He was – we think – eventually banned. John ‘Prancehall’ McDonnell helpfully compiled some of his best RWD Forum moments here.

Use your keyboard’s arrow keys or hit the prev / next arrows on your screen to turn pages (page 1/2)

His aborted porn video (2010)

At some point in the build-up to his also-aborted 2010 album for IslandWiley claimed that his next video would be a full on porn flick. Bear in mind that this was several Wiley Twitter accounts ago, and Googling “Wiley porn” doesn’t bring up much of use (well, depending on what that use is) so we can’t be certain of the exact quotes, but the long and short was that Wiley had been to the gym, had got some tattoos, and felt ready to reveal his “private parts” via the medium of porn (he referred to them as this throughout this episode). When asked whether the idea was still a goer in a later Ustream Q&A, Wiley bemoaned the fact that his label didn’t approve the idea. No shit, Will.

Zip Files (2010)

The reason that said 2010 album was ultimately aborted: Wiley got in a strop and leaked his album, along with a treasure trove of unreleased goods by both himself and other acts (if you need to ask whether he asked for permission, then go back and read this article again from the start), under the now infamous Zip Files banner.

The Ustream era (2010)

Wiley spent 2010 on Ustream, and not in the way that, say, Boiler Room spends its time on Ustream, with a series of organised broadcasts. Wiley broadcasted, more or less, his entire life. At any given time, you could tune into Wiley’s Ustream account and find him having a jog in the park, getting changed, ignoring his girlfriend in a Jamaica hotel room, tucking into a lunchtime deal at a local chicken shop, or, as this clip documents, telling a “fat fucking shit” of a taxi driver that God will strike him down. The Ustream era ended abruptly at the height of one of Wiley’s many existential Twitter crises, when he simply declared “I have to stop living my life on Ustream and Twitter goodbye”.

Wiley vs. The Guardian (2011)

@WileyArtist – Hold tight the guardian i am not doing interview with you fuck off.
@WileyArtist – YES THE GUARDIAN FUCK OFF AND STOP RINGING MY LABEL THANKS
@WileyArtist – @french84 YES THEY GIOVE ME BAD REVIEWS LIKE THAT AND THINK IM THERE MATE I AINT THERE MATE
@LolaRose04 – @WileyArtist could have* not could of, could have improved your grammar too.
@WileyArtist – @LolaRose04 You did not need to do that at all.You flash bitch.

Wiley vs. John Woolf

If you think that your job’s hard work, spare a thought for John Woolf. Wiley’s on-off manager has been publicly hired and fired on several occasions now (reasons have ranged from being “un-urban” to “Any Prick”), and this putdown on RWD Forum remains one of Wiley’s all-time maddest moments:

“John Woolf You Are The Worse Manager I Advise Artists To Stay Away From John Woolf He Does Shit That You Would Want To Kill Him For Believe Me I Want To Kill Him Amongst Others If He Was Infront Of Me Now I Would Empty A Whole Clip At Him For Doin This Stupid Cash In My Pocket 3rd Verse Mockery Please God Save Me Realtalk I Said It … You Will Pay For This You Tramp I Hate You”.

To think Warner thought they had a chance, eh?

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