Wiley can be difficult to pin down.
From straddling the line between grime bangers for the darkest of raves, to the sun-drenched vibes of his pop efforts in “Heatwave” and “Can You Hear Me” in his previous more commercially-driven album The Ascent, to even jumping on the remix of Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” earlier this year, Wiley seems to like his fingers in many, ahem, pies. However no-one can deny his status as the ‘Godfather of Grime’ with a career spanning almost a decade and a half, and Snakes and Ladders makes some work towards solidifying that position.
At 17 tracks and clocking in at just under an hour, it’s clear that Wiley still has a lot to say on his 8th studio album. It is also apparent that his time in the scene has not been without growth. Although there are still the hallmarks of braggadocio visible in lines like “told you I am a don/this scene I run”, Wiley also takes time to flag up the pitfalls of giving in to the hedonistic rapper lifestyle. “See it’s all fun and games ‘til you end up broke…if you really want my advice than take it/try not to spend until you’ve made it/just live within your means innit/I don’t need to front cos I’ve seen it” Wiley forewarns, before delving back into proclaiming himself and his crew Roll Deep kings of the grime scene.