The Wiley and Stormzy beef has reignited. After Wiley drew out Stormzy with a few tweets, Stormzy put the ball in Wiley’s corner and asked him to clash live on Rinse or 1Xtra.
Wiley rejected, which makes sense as he’s in Cyprus, but also because he wants to make some money for the clash and put it out there on a big stage. That makes sense, too, but grime doesn’t need a leg up from Eddie Hearn to make it successful.
Grime has been built from its creators making the best of their own resources, allowing them to have full ownership of the platforms they create. Risky Roadz started off with a camera bought with some money his nan lent him, and now he’s filming a successful show where his nan interviews MCs and rappers over a cup of tea and some biscuits.
Wiley and Stormzy are big men and while they do have a bit of tension, surely they could put that aside and put their heads together to start a platform for themselves, create an event, put some up and comers on the bill, sell tickets and live-stream the whole thing. That way everyone wins and the fans get to experience something more than tepid war dubs and arguments about whether Stormzy is disqualified because he went over a drill beat. People will come out to see a grime clash on the big stage, and if they can’t, they will most certainly tune in online if the clash is live streamed. Besides a slight ego bruise for whoever is deemed to have lost, they will both make a bit of money and be part of an event that has a buzz around it. It’s literally a no-lose situation.
While the involvement of a third party like Eddie Hearn would get eyes on the clash, there’s no need for the external validation of a boxing promoter for an event like this. Wiley’s pioneer status, Stormzy’s astronomical fame and the sheer talent of the two sells this immediately. The narrative is pretty much written into the clash by default – Master vs Student? Easy.
Music is already full of people with money looking for something ‘cool’ to attach to their name, but they can pull the plug when it suits them. A new clashing platform built for MCs by MCs and out of their own pocket would be a sustainable venture that everyone could enjoy.