Bow rapper Wiley is made a MBE in New Year Honours

Grime star Wiley has been made a MBE. Picture credit: PA/Joe Giddens.

Grime star Wiley has been made a MBE. Picture credit: PA/Joe Giddens. - Credit: PA WIRE

Rapper Wiley who was born and bred in Bow has been made a MBE in the New Year Honours.

The star was on holiday in Cyprus when news of his award was released.

Born Richard Cowie, he is one of 14 Londoners made a MBE by the Queen.

A rapper, songwriter, musician and record producer, he independently released a series of highly influential eskibeat instrumentals in the early 2000s, and rose to fame as a ‘grime MC’ for his solo work and for material released with his crew, Roll Deep.

Wiley has continued to make grime music while also releasing mainstream singles, such as the UK Singles Chart top 10 hit ‘Wearing My Rolex’ and his British No 1 hit ‘Heatwave’.


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He is often called “the Godfather of Grime”, a key player in creating grime music genre who is considered a pioneer in the British underground music scene.

He won NME Magazine’s ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music’ award in 2017, for his album ‘Godfather’, and has been a major factor at the early career stages of several UK stars such as fellow east Londoner Dizzee Rascal, as well as Ghetts and Tinchy Stryder.

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His origins in Bow have often been a subject of his work, while spending varying amounts of time running record labels, a music management company, a clothing line, an online record shop and creating his own seminal club night, Eskimo Dance.

The 38-year-old said: “I’m honoured to be receiving an MBE.

“It feels like the school grade I wanted and didn’t get but now I’m finally there.”

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