Wiley and Dizzee Rascal are two pioneers who have, unfortunately, had a highly tenuous relationship over the years. However, despite their now waning relevance, it’s impossible to deny their impact on UK hip-hop culture during their careers. Together with the likes of JME and Skepta, they helped build grime, a genre that enabled the disenfranchised youth of 2000s England to have a voice, and to this day, they are still revered for that.
Although grime hasn’t made it to the US, it was the most pivotal movement of Black-British music and is the foundation upon which UK drill has been built. However, sadly its two architects have been at each other’s necks for years, and it has been horrid and venomous.
Both raised in the East London neighbour of Bow, the two artists met at the turn of the millennium and, in conjunction, developed an offshoot of UK garage that would later become Grime. Becoming close friends, the two collaborated, formed a crew and worked closely as brothers to create something out of nothing. However, in 2003 their brotherly rapport and mutual respect for one another was ravaged by what can only be described as a horrific incident.
In the early 2000s, the UK urban music scene would annually relocate and take over the Cypriot city of Ayia Napa, a resort rife with clubs and bars. The municipality would effectively see the entire grime and garage scenes descend upon it non-stop for six weeks. However, fans and artists alike would run rampant around the city’s nightlife district, bringing the conflict of the London streets with them.
In the summer of 2003, tensions were high between the East London crew Roll Deep and the South London crew So Solid. In an attempt to goad the So Solid Crew, Dizzee Rascal (real name Dylan Mills) would inappropriately touch the female member of the So Solid, Lisa Mafia, by grabbing her behind. What followed was pure chaos.
Unsurprisingly, a brawl broke out between the male crew members. More specifically, Wiley, Megaman, Dizzee Rascal and Asher D. It would end in Mills getting stabbed in his torso and back by multiple So Solid crew members and affiliates. Mills took himself to a Cyprus hospital on a moped, where they drained the blood and treated the rapper’s gaping wounds.
Infuriated by what he felt was a lack of assistance and abandonment on behalf of his friend, Mills was further angered when he received the news that Wiley had flown back to London the morning after. Following this incident, Mills never made contact with his former friend again. In spite of multiple attempts to reach out over the years by Wiley (real name Richard Cowie), Mills never spoke directly to his former friend again.
However, their have been some questionable lines in tracks. For example, in his 2004 track ‘Hype Talk’ their is a line in which Mills raps, “What’s the word on the street, did he really slap her? Is true Wiley skipped the country left him? Did he punch Mega in the face for tryin’ to test him?” Furthermore on his 2006 track, ‘P*ssyole (Old School)’ the rapper references Wiley indirectly rapping, “A friend in need is a friend indeed but a friend with no money and no weed can flip the script at a ridiculous speed, and make a best friend an ex-friend for the P”
He continued, “There was this one particular MC man who was an older in my ends and I thought he was the don, so I started rollin’ with him kind of like a little brother. My cousin used to say he was a p*ssy undercover. I didn’t think that it was nothin’ more than jealousy, but I wish I would’ve listened every time.”
Wiley responded multiple times. However, the friendship was never fixed and the two have never seen each other and even at present are enemies. Below you can listen to some of Wiley’s responses to Rascal regarding the situation.