“Birds N Bars”
Godfather opens with an aim of setting the tone—vintage Eski with a contemporary makeover. Without relenting, Wiley lets off a stream of bars filled with quips and one-liners that he's long been known for. You're plain and I'm the loaded nachos, I played the game for long on my cash flows, he confidently boasts. The second half switches up the pace to a more bouncy vibe but still dictating the rhythm and tempo of the album. As far as album intros go, "Birds N Bars" goes as far as setting up potentially one of the best grime albums of the year, even this early on.
“Bring Them All” / “Holy Grime” f/ Devlin
It's been a few years since Devlin's Moving Picture and with the forthcoming album, The Devil In, "Holy Grime" is a reminder of the Dagenham rapper's raw ability. Throughout Godfather, you'll hear a host of grime's pantheon of artists and it's clear by now that everything Eski Boy does is with purpose. In a recent interview with The FADER, Wiley acknowledged the recent debate that's been enthralling grime fans: its origins. His declaration isn't only vindication, but with Devlin's appearance, it shows that while the intersection of race exists in grime, other working class groups have also made lasting contributions.
“Name Brand” f/ Jme, Frisco & J2K
Produced by Jme and featuring Frisco and J2K, "Name Brand" sees Wiley lament on his own influence he's been able to garner over twenty or so years. Since grime's resurgence has been the narrative for some time now, one of the more striking observations has been London's overall climate and atmosphere. Wiley, who has been a stalwart of London's nightlife, confidently inserts that London's changed a bit, but I can still hit the booth. Indeed.
Intoxicating and stimulating would be most apt when describing the effect "Speakerbox" had upon the first listen. This was one of the later singles to be released prior to the album's drop and is one of its earliest examples of Wiley's coherent flow and slapstick bars. What's particularly endearing is the memoir left by Skepta at the end of the track, hoping that younger generations will never have to experience what his generation of grime artists had to. Gems on gems.
“Back With A Banger”
One of the album's strongest traits is the seemingly immaculate sequencing. Each track appears to have its place and it's a definite tell that, sometimes, providing a stellar project throughout may mean fans have to wait. This early on since Godfather's release, it'd be almost foolhardy to select the album's best track but it's difficult to ignore the infectiousness of "Back With A Banger".
“Joe Bloggs” f/ Newham Generals & President T
Wiley's a veteran and permanent fixture within grime but no doubt, there are a few out there who still question his ability to make music in 2017, especially with the numerous delays. Reflecting on the old days is a running theme throughout, much like on Kano's Made In The Manor, but it's the features of D Double E, Footsie and President T that really adds to the nostalgia "Joe Bloggs" creates.