The official autobiography of Wiley, the ‘Godfather of Grime’
‘Wiley is Wiley, and if you don’t know me, you don’t know much.’
*Winner of the NME Best Music Book Award 2018*
A TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR
A SUNDAY TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR
A TELEGRAPH BOOK OF THE YEAR
'The greatest UK MC of all time' NoiseyWiley. Godfather of grime. He's one of Britain's most innovative musicians – and the movement he started in east London in the early 2000s is taking over the world.
This is his story. This is ESKIBOY.
'Perhaps the most influential musician working in Britain today' Guardian
'Wiley is the pioneering force of grime, the most revolutionary musical movement in Britain since punk' The Times
'A glimpse of the 21st-century rock'n'roll' Sunday Times
“A glimpse of the 21st century rock'n'roll.”
Sunday Times, 'Books of the Year'
“The legacy has been documented.”
“Grime, Britain's answer to hip-hop, is the most significant homegrown music genre since punk and its founding father is Wiley. Eskiboy charts not just Wiley's story and character but grime's journey from chaotic and frequently violent raves in warehouses to mainstream credibility.”
The Times, 'Books of the Year'
“Incredible. A whirlwind chronicle of friendships, family, violence, beefs, parenting, politics, race and a pure, mad passion for music. Eskiboy ensures everyone falls in love with Richard Kylea Cowie, the charmingly fallible lead at the heart not only of this book but the grime scene itself.”
Hattie Collins, i-D
“Wiley is the pioneering force of grime, the most revolutionary musical movement in Britain since punk. Captivating.”
Will Hodgkinson, The Times
“Perhaps the most influential musician working in Britain today.”
“The greatest UK MC of all time.”
“Wiley is just as blistering on the page as he is in the studio. Tracing Richard Cowie’s journey from Bow, it expands on his roots and influences while offering unheralded access into the rapper’s life. An essential tome from one of grime’s true pioneers.”
Clash Magazine, 'Books of the Year'
“This was the year that grime became the most potent form of protest music. Eskiboy, a memoir from 38-year-old Wiley, is a perfect reflection of the genre he invented: sketchy, cocky, erratic and then, suddenly, heart-stoppingly humble.”
Telegraph, 'Books of the Year'
“The grime legend returns, in thrilling fashion, to reclaim the genre he invented.”
“Eskiboy is at its best when it captures some of the social energy that propelled Wiley, and grime more generally, into the popular consciousness… Wiley’s progress from innovator to godfather could be the best account of the genre’s life to date.”
“The fact that [this book] exists is pretty incredible.”
“Everyone should read this – and it arrives right at the moment we need it most – just when the island appears to be turning inwards and moving backwards, this book shows you how to turn your heart outwards and move forwards.”
Manchester Review of Books
“From the mid-90s, Wiley has been instrumental in creating a new sonic aesthetic. In the process he has given black Britain a unique voice, forging a genre that both contains black British musical history, and pushes it forward. It has enabled the success of artists from Dizzee Rascal to Stormzy to Skepta, whose cultural dominance have given shape to the wider identity of twenty-first century British youth culture.”
“Eskiboy is an insight into one of the most complex characters in Grime.”
Nation of Billions
“The pioneer behind the grime sound. Hugely enjoyable.”
“'Incredible... evocative... concussive, a bit chilling and thoroughly infectious.”
Sukhdev Sandhu, Guardian
“A reflective and vulnerable tale of a very raw and traumatic climb … This book reveals nuances absent from his past interviews. In fact, it reveals the kind of insight I seek to extract from every interview I do as Wiley tells his story in full for the first time. Wiley is flawed and refreshingly honest about it; endearingly so and without arrogance.”
“Utterly brilliant. Charting his rise from harsh beginnings to pirate radio and literally building a genre of music, the book is a vivid and revealing account from the godfather of grime himself. The book is refreshing too, with written cameos from friends and collaborators as well as brutal eloquently written honesty throughout.”
“An unconventional autobiography written by a committed individualist … He turned 39 this year, but Eskiboy reads like the worldview of a veteran.”