photo by Alissa Anderson Heron Oblivion are another transcendent case of the best of avant-garde …
Alex Wiley established his underground bona fides relatively soon after he decided to start rapping. A collaboration with Kembe X in 2012, Can I Borrow A Dollar EP, put Wiley on the map. And after the two put out “Don’t Quit” in 2013, it was only a matter of time before he had other name-drop-worthy conspirators like Chance the Rapper and Action Bronson in his court.
Wiley hails from Chicago, which seems to be a veritable birthing ground for rappers changing the shape of the game, so it comes as no real surprise that his early mixtapes showcased an engaging flow with a keen ear for soul-sampling beats. His first full-length mixtape, Club Wiley (2013), featured several notable collab tracks with Chance, Kembe X, Vic Mensa and Freddie Gibbs, to name a few. Wiley grinds his way through the tracks with a quick tongue and a playfulness that never skews into cynicism. 2014’s Village Party saw Wiley prowl his way through slightly more industrial beats, once again connecting with a few guests, but showing he was more than capable of carrying some bangers on his own.
Since Village Party, Wiley has released four more mixtapes, including Village Party II and 2017’s Village Party III: Stoner Symphony, a collaborative project with producer Mike Gao. Village Party III is a haze of liquid beats with Wiley substituting his typically sharp tongue in favor of an oozy, oily delivery. While it’s a departure from the sound most fans recognize, it demonstrates his breadth and ability as an artist – much of which apparently remains untapped.»