UK Tings: Wiley Walks Away From Label, Disses It, Then Apologizes
by Winston "Stone" Ford
Wiley feat. Beenie Man – Rolex Up The Heatwave
Wiley might not be a household name here in the States, but in the UK, his song “Wearing My Rolex,” was a number 1 hit, and his track was slowly making it into DJ sets on this side of the Atlantic.
However, all is not well in the Eskiboy camp, as Wiley at first walked away from his label, Asylum/Atlantic this week:
Another Wiley vs. Label saga, Eskiboy is now speaking up about his deal with Asylum Records, the Atlantic Records-linked label that recently put out his massive single, Wearing My Rolex.
After dealings with XL Recordings (Treading on Thin Ice), Relentless (Roll Deep’s In At The Deep End) and Big Dada (Playtime Is Over), it seems Wiley has walked out on another record deal. In a series of threads posted on RWD’s very own forum grime’s 29 year-old Godfather has dropped a few words about signing to big labels. “The problem is when someone thinks they can mould you into something not understanding one day you will wake up and notice. Asylum didn’t deserve me,” he shockingly said in a thread titled ‘Do Not Sign A Record Deal If U Have Got Money’.
After staggeringly releasing in depth financial information about his impending album and follow-up to Summertime, Wiley revealed all about his healthy bank balance. “I have to remind everyone I had my bikes, car, chain and watch and all that before this album deal so I didn’t need to sign this deal really but I got pressured into it by my manager obviously he just wanted money and I signed knowing I was gonna end up flipping cos it wasn’t me it was what asylum wanted me to be which was never gonna work.”
He also went on to mention, “I’m jus doin’ my ting now f*** everyone, I swear.”
The dude actually goes into rather specific details on his deal on the RWD Magazine message board (which I’ve never seen an artist do before), saying that the issue arose because the production cost overruns were being taken out of his £100,000 ($185,000) advance. It sounds like typical label bs that could have been resolved through lawyers, and the general consensus from his fans and industry heads is that the dude overreacted. Wiley’s track record of switching record companies like I switch underpants wasn’t doing him any favors, especially when he was poised to hit it big with this upcoming album.
However, cooler heads prevailed. Wiley wrote a letter to his label apologizing for the whole thing, and the album is still supposed to come on Asylum/Atlantic. However, is the damage already done? I’m sure his label and his lawyers aren’t happy with him putting his finances on the Internets like that.