Hate Is The New Love: Dizzee Rascal vs Wiley


Right. I’ve wanted to do this for weeks now, but it’s just been about finding the time to do it. It’s been the most difficult HITNL I’ve written to date because although there are rumours and stories around how the beef came about, there is not one universally accepted point of view. Therefore not only have I had to use my knowledge I have collected over the years, but I had to do extensive research in order to supplement and fill in the gaps.

To the U.K. Grime scene, this was our version of the Jay/Nas beef although we are still waiting reconciliation from the two. Wiley has taken strides to repair broken bridges, but more about this later. Let’s get into things.

Depending on when you started following Dizzee, you may/may not know he was originally in Wiley’s crew Roll Deep (yes, that same Roll Deep with that haunting – in a bad way – new single out).  Wiley was Dizzee’s mentor growing up and had a huge influence on his industry-defining Boy In Da Corner. However, it was initially label issues which forced a wedge in between the one-time collaborators.

As Wiley was putting together his debut Treddin’ On Thin Ice, his indie label XL Recordings inconveniently sandwiched the record between Dizzee’s July 2003 groundbreaking, Mercury Prize-winning Boy in Da Corner and its September ’04 follow-up, Showtime. It was a testament to how prolific young grime artists were at the time, but a bad decision to flood the market with three releases from an undeveloped new genre, made under very similar conditions by two people with similar backgrounds working very close to each other. Wiley’s album flopped. He walked away from XL and Cage – his and Dizzee’s manager – and from his friendship with Dizzee.

But this wasn’t exclusive to their troubles. A prominent rumour that has long been circulating around is on Dizzee’s first trip to Ayia Napa he unknowingly/knowingly  pinched/slapped/groped So Solid Crew, Lisa Maffia’s arse. Dizzee was rushed by members of So Solid Crew and a fight ensued between him and Megaman. Dizzee claims to have got the better of him. The next afternoon Dizzee was out on his moped when he got jumped and was stabbed several times. Dizzee claims that Wiley didn’t back him in the incidents, Wiley claims otherwise.

Roll on the diss tracks.

In 2004, on Wiley’s Treddin On Thin Ice, he tries to address the situation with Dizzee over the mic. No shots are fired, Wiley simply asks “Why do you hate me?” prompting a response from Dizzee for his side of the situation.

Dizzee then dropped Hype Talk from his sophomore release Showtime where he takes jabs at Wiley through replicating a typical street grapevine: “What’s da word on da street / Did he really slap her?!? / Is true Wiley skipped da country left him?!? / Did he punch Mega in da face for tryin’ to test him?!?”

The next notable attack was Wiley on his Letter 2 Dizzee from his second release Playtime Is Over in 2007. A reminiscent track in which Wiley raps: “I remember 01 December, me and you shoppin’ / Over tag poppin’ / Remember the BAPE v-necks we were rockin’ / Had that early”. Later he finishes: “It don’t matter, I’m still your big brother.”

On Dizzee’s same-day-release Maths and English he responds to Wiley’s past attempts at reconciliation with the commercially successful Pussyole. Although never directly calling out Wiley, it is evident who the track was aimed at. He raps: “That’s that bredder always fronting like he’s strong / Sneaky fake fuck always running to his brother when it’s on / Hardly backs the beef, last one swinging / First one running, making up stories, he’s a chief / Bringing bredders to the ends.”

Wiley then responds on his Tunnel Vision Volume 6 mixtape two months later which contained two tracks aimed at Dizzee. The first, entitled Reply To Dizzee, is a spoken-word track where Eskiboy tackles Dizzee’s Pussyole bar by bar. The second, 2nd Dub 4 Dizzee, is a much more aggressive response over a heavy, grime-infused beat: “Come and knock my door, talk to me proper / battle on the stage, that’ll be a show-stopper.”  “I couldn’t be a pussy, I bin through too much… I’ll let the hood decide, they can tell us who’s better / it sure ain’t the boy in the dirtee stank sweater!”

After some serious charts action for both artists it had seemed they had firmly gone off in their own directions, however recently Wiley reached out to Dizzee via his Twitter. He initially shouts out Dizzee to do an album together claiming they could ‘do a million and not even have to see eachother’ before then following up with a later tweet where he states ‘he doesn’t want to die without him and Dizzee squashing their issues.’

And that folks, is just about it. We shall wait and see for a response from Dizzee.

You can get your hands on all the mentioned tracks below.

Wiley – Reasons

Dizzee Rascal – Hype Talk

Wiley – Letter 2 Dizzee

Dizzee Rascal – Pussyole (Old Skool)

Wiley – Reply To Dizzee

Wiley – 2nd Dub 4 Dizzee

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4 comments to Hate Is The New Love: Dizzee Rascal vs Wiley

  • I knew these guys fell out, but never knew the actual story about it! Seems pretty petty overall, hopefully Dizzee will take Wiley up on his offer of a reconciliation of sorts, when on form these two are awesome.

  • Yeah, from what I’ve read and the various diss tracks it seems as if Dizzee holds much more of a grudge against Wiley than visa-versa. However, if what Dizzee claims is true (about the stabbing in Ayia Napa) then it’s understandable really.

  • muggyc.nt

    wiley was not a big influence on dizzee it was more the other way round all he did on boy in the corner was a verse on 2far wiley was jealous of dizzee and used him to keep himself relevant and get more bookings just like wiley used tynchy and a bag of other kids later on he couldnt handle the fact that dizzee was gonna blow wiley flopped himself not xl he didnt turn up for promo couldnt be bothered to finish his album properly and so on the story of his life really thats why it flopped wiley was indirectly the reason dizzee was stabbed in nappa and behaved like the coward he is afterwards thats why dizzee aint hearing him

  • @Muggy

    Cheers for the input. That’s why this beef is so fascinating because there are two varying sides to the story. Maybe we should have co-written this, as it seems you have a good grasp on Dizzee’s side of things!

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