Considering his stature in mid-aughts British music and his towering legacy over the entire grime movement, the diminishing returns that have been the hallmark of Wiley’s career for the last six or seven years have been depressing to say the least. He moved away from grime with his eye on the charts, and the results have been mostly unmemorable or outright bad middle-of-the-road trifles. Now, perhaps sensing that grime was fertile ground again with artists like Flowdan, Kahn, Dahlia Black, Unknown Shapes, and many others redefining the parameters of the genre and incorporating advances in dubstep and other electronic styles, Wiley decided that the time was right for a return to his roots. “I’m back where I wanna be” is the song’s hook. Now that he finally wants to be back where he has always belonged, and every other grime emcee better watch their backs.
Ruff Mercy, who has previously directed and animated incredible videos for Blu (“GNG BNG”) and Dahlia Black (“Fuck a Rap Song”), handled the video for “Flying.” With little more than flashes of crude simple animation over a black and white (and occasionally red) video of Wiley rapping, he’s managed to distill grime’s sonic qualities into visual form. Energy shoots off in every direction at unexpected intervals like a plasma globe, and the video seems like it could collapse at any moment from overstimulation.