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Wiley: Why Ed Sheeran and Drake are 'culture vultures'

Wiley and Ed Image copyright Getty Images

Anyone listening to BBC 1Xtra this morning was treated to the latest episode in the Wiley v the world saga.

The grime godfather spent the last couple of mornings tweeting about Drake and Ed Sheeran, calling both of them "culture vultures".

Yep, it's that time of year again - album time.

To help Wiley get some things off his chest - and also challenge his opinions - 1Xtra Breakfast Show host Dotty gave him a ring.

"I'm mad at Ed Sheeran because he said 'You need me man, I don't need you'," Wiley told Dotty, quoting one of Ed's most successful songs.

"But Ed, the other day mate, you had to use grime to tip your song over the edge."

He's talking about the remix to Take Me Back to London - which was produced by grime producer and DJ Sir Spyro, featured Stormzy, Jaykae and Aitch - and got to number one.

Wiley told Dotty that Ed Sheeran shouldn't use grime in his music because "we're not allowed to use you or anything that you do" - claiming that the relationship between Ed and grime musicians is not mutually beneficial.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Wiley has received an MBE for his services to music

The MC is clearly not a fan of Ed now - and said he wouldn't be listening to his music again - but they do have a song together.

Wiley featured on Ed Sheeran's No.5 Collaborations EP, which was released in 2011 before Ed was a mainstream artist and featured grime artists on every song.

And he says that's partly where his problem with Ed comes from.

He claims that when it was time for Ed to repay the favour and feature on Wiley's own album, the multi-platinum selling artist didn't want to.

"Listen, we helped that guy get into the picture. I done something for him - 'You'. It's on his album, isn't it? So when I went to do my one I was told, 'You can't do this, Ed can't do the video. You can't use Ed', basically.

"He didn't want to stand up to his label - he folded.

"I knew life wasn't fair, but I didn't know it was this unfair.

"Everyone thinks I'm mad. I'm not mad. I'm not mad - Ed Sheeran knows what I'm talking about."

He added: "When Ed wants to do something that's OK. But when we want to do something with Ed? We can't."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Wiley with Dizzee Rascal in 2002, when grime didn't even have a name

The MC - one of the people who developed and popularised the grime sound in the early 2000s - said Ed's relationship with the grime scene is "fake as hell", claiming that "none" of Ed Sheeran's fortune has been used to help grime as evidence.

And he didn't stop there.

"Listen, Ed Sheeran - you are a culture vulture and I'm not listening to you anymore. I've listened to you rip off Marvin Gaye, I've listened to you rip off everything. I see you do a tune the other day with Justin Bieber that sounds like a tune from Sting. No-one is not saying nothing about that though. So I'm not listening. I'm finished with these people. I swear to God."

'He's just a pagan'

But Wiley wasn't finished - he turned his attention to Drake instead.

"J Hus came out of jail right. My man brought him out on stage. That looks good don't it. That looks cool. That looks good init. It looks nang - my man brought out J Hus!"

Dotty, who was at the show at London's O2 when Drake brought out the rapper, said she thought it was an "amazing" moment and wondered what Wiley's problem was.

He said he saw no positives from Drake bringing people out "as if he is Jesus Christ the saviour" during his seven sold out nights at the O2.

"He's not embracing the scene, he's doing it for himself.

"Mandem who are not from the hood come to places and try and get involved with man from the hood.

"If you're a good yout and you grew up in the suburbs, and all of a sudden you become a rapper. Do you know what you do? You gravitate to where you never came from - that's what."

'It will probably go down in broadcasting history'

1Xtra Breakfast Show host Dotty gives her thoughts.

When you're ranting on your socials, there's nobody there to pull you up on things or question you. So it was really interesting to hear Wiley's point of view but then challenge him on some of those views.

Wiley is a pioneer of the scene and because of that he holds it very closely to his heart. The grime scene to Wiley is like his child and I think it's difficult for Wiley to see his child grow up and go off into the world.

I couldn't get a word in edgeways, so I just let him go with it, challenging him where he needed to be challenged.

My relationship with Wiley dates back like 10 years. I think that's the only reason I was able to speak to him - because I've known him for so long and I have a personal relationship with him.

My takeaway from it is that Wiley is rare in this business - in that he's been in it for a very, very long time and he still speaks his mind.

Whether you believe what he's saying or disagree with what he's saying, it's quite refreshing to have somebody that's not afraid to go on national radio and tell you what they really think.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Drake is the executive producer on season three of Top Boy, out on Friday in the UK

The MC also had an issue with the Canadian rapper's involvement with Top Boy - the cult UK TV show that was cancelled by Channel 4, and has been brought back with Drake's help.

"So we need Canadians and Americans to come and help us because we can't do it ourselves? Cool. But my genre's produced over 12 or 13 millionaires.

"Wiley, Stormzy, Dizzee Rascal - do you know how many millionaires are in London?"

So why didn't you bring back Top Boy, asks Dotty? Wiley says he was never asked.

"The truth is he's just a pagan and he knows it. And if I say it he can't say nothing to me, and that's the truth."

Wiley said a whole lot more, and the full interview is available on BBC Sounds.

Newsbeat has contacted representatives for Ed Sheeran and Drake.

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