Grime Pioneer Wiley Dropped by Manager, Banned from Twitter for Antisemitic Rant

by | Jul 27, 2020 | Culture, Stories | 0 comments

Wiley is facing the music for last week’s public outburst.

The seminal U.K. grime emcee has been let go by A-List Management, and distributor ADA have cut ties with his record label, CTA Records. Not only that, but Twitter has temporarily banned his account and London’s Metropolitan Police are investigating the incident.

July 24th, 2020 saw Wiley (real name Richard Kylea Cowie Jr.) lob dozens of tweets over a roughly 11-hour period, several of which have been denounced by figures across entertainment as antisemitic. In addition to calling jews “snakes” and “cowards,” he likened them to the Ku Klux Klan. According to Resident Advisor, the Music Producers Guild and Planet Mu are among the groups calling for a 48-hour boycott of Twitter in protest of what they criticize as a slow response on the platform’s part.

“Following Wiley’s antisemitic tweets today we at A-List Management have cut all ties with him,” tweeted Cowie’s manager, John Woolf, on Saturday. “There is no place in society for antisemitism.”

Cowie is often referred to as the “Godfather of Grime” for his early role in the distinctly English genre derived from elements of UK garage, hip-hop and jungle. In 2018, he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his contributions to music.

Last week’s incident was not the first time Cowie has been accused of racism. In 2011, he questioned Jay Sean‘s contributions to U.K. music, and then made apparently race-related attacks at Twitter users who came to the English singer-songwriter’s defense per The Sun.

Cowie has not apologized for his recent tweets at the time of writing.

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