It's perhaps a little surprising just how long Wiley has been involved in the so-called 'urban' music-scene - in fact, the man otherwise known as Eskiboy, has been MCing since the late '90s, chatting over jungle records via pirate radio. After forming the infamous Roll Deep crew (students included Dizzee Rascal and Tinchy Stryder) and performing at various sound-clashes across the capital, Wiley moved into production work of his own (much of it instrumentals).
His ideas eventually caught the ears and imagination of XL Recordings (Dizzee's home-label) and the first album, "Treddin' on Thin Ice", appeared in 2004 - arguably the first 'grime' collection. It spawned a hit single with "Wot Do U Call It", a cheeky reference to the background debate going on between artists and journos desperate to pigeonhole his (and other similar artists) work. Since that debut, he's been banging out an album (or more) a year, including the successful "See Clear Now" which contains his biggest single, "Wearing My Rolex".
2011 hasn't been any less productive - he's been one of many grime acts to endorse Ed Sheeran's work and has recently cemented bonds with Lethal Bizzle and new starlet, Emeli Sande. It seems everyone wants a piece of the Wiley action, including a large following of fans expected to buy into his next tour.
The Evolve or Be Extinct tour (also the title of his next album) begins in Norwich on 20th January, followed by Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Liverpool, Brighton and finally London's Scala. Tickets are on sale from Friday, priced at £12 (£12.50 for London).
Originally rescheduled to March, it appears Wiley's tour has now been cancelled 'due to unforeseen circumstances'. Ticket-holders should obtain a refund from their point of purchase.