Richard Kylea Cowie Jr. MBE might not be a name which immediately catches your attention. But I suspect it will ring bells when I mention his stage name is Wiley. Time was that he was once a hugely successful rapper and entertainer. For a time, his name alone could sell out whole shows.
Those days, it appears, are well behind him. Following a controversy last summer where he was accused of antisemitism, his popularity has somewhat waned. His tweets included claims that Jews ran the world, that they owned the police and described them as “snakes”. Wiley seems not to be very bright, as he forgot his own manager was Jewish – he was subsequently dropped.
He was also banned permanently from Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Twitter – although their beard-wielding boss Jack Dorsey might not be best pleased to discover he’s sneaked back onto the platform. So finding out what he’s doing these days isn’t exactly easy – he doesn’t even seem to have his own website.
So how many gigs does Wiley have forthcoming over the next few months? Er, just the one. Mode in Burnley are happy to host an unrepentant anti-Semite – they’ve been asked for comment on this. Still, he might not turn up. He has form for not being bothered to show up for things…