Click HERE to purchase this album
This album was released on November 20th in 2015. I’ve been aware of Alex Wiley for a while now, and I’ve really liked every feature I’ve heard from him, but this’ll be my first time checking out any of his actual projects. It’d probably make more sense for me to check out some of his more recent material, but there’s a song on this album that I’ve already heard, and I know I like it, so I’m just playing it safe for now. Anyway, I don’t know too much about this project. Actually, I don’t even know much about Alex Wiley himself. All I know is that he’s from Chicago, and he’s ultra light skinned. Unfortunately he has not released the production credits for this album. There are only a handful of tracks that I have them for. So that kinda sucks. I guess it doesn’t really matter too much. Actually, yes it does… Fuck it tho.
Track 1: Open
This is just an intro skit, so I won’t be giving it a rating. It’s literally just the sound of some gates opening, with some angelic operatic vocals in the background.
Track 2: Ex Machina
Woah… This production is absolutely fucking insane. This shit sounds PRISTINE. God, I really wish he credited the producers. The hook’s cool. Good lord. This beat is fucking awesome. His flow is really nice on this track, but it’s really hard to understand what he’s saying. From what I CAN understand, this really isn’t anything special. It’s not exactly bad, but he really isn’t saying anything every other rapper hasn’t already said before. “I’m blowing a piff / I’m pouring a fifth / Let’s roll to the crib / You know what it is.” Hmm… Are these struggle bars? I don’t know if I feel comfortable using that label for these lyrics. It’s definitely not that great tho. I still enjoyed the track. It’s dope sonically. It just sucks that the lyrics aren’t very coherent, and what I actually can understand isn’t anything special. I still enjoyed the track as a whole tho. This is dope to me. 4/5
Track 3: Run
This beat is really dope. Man, this is a really well produced album so far. This shit sounds way more polished than a lot commercial rappers’ albums. Okay, I already like this song a lot more than the previous one. I can actually understand what he’s saying on this one. His flow is dope af. “Come through with that one-two, one-two / Damn, fam, is this what shit comes to? / Take an eighth to the face, I escape to the place / Where I drape like a young Rapunzel; carefree.” The hook is really nice too. Wait… What? It just ended… There was only one verse. This would be a fantastic song if it had at least one other verse. It just feels like it needed more. This almost feels like an interlude. I really fuck with it tho. This is really dope. 4/5
Track 4: Breathe Feat. Calez
This beat is awesome. The hook from Calez is nothing special. He’s rapping on the first verse too. Man, this beat is so fucking good. Calez’s verse wasn’t amazing or anything, but I like how his delivery got progressively louder as he was rapping. This is a really chill song. Holy fucking shit… Alex’s flow on this second verse is fucking crazy. Damn. Okay, he fuckin’ killed that shit. Again, it wasn’t too impressive lyrically, but his fantastic flow made up for it. This is definitely my favorite track so far. This shit is dope af. 5/5
Track 5: For Sunny Feat. Hippie Sabotage
God the fucking production on this album is so fucking good. It’s kinda strange how good it is. I really wish I knew who produced all these beats. The hook’s alright I guess. The first verse was fine. Nothing about it really stood out, but it wasn’t bad at all. Oh. Okay. It just ended. There was just a bridge where he repeated “bitch, what you want?” a few times, and then the hook came back on, and then it ended. I’m uh… I’m gonna have to pass on this one. The beat was really good, but aside from that this track isn’t anything special. It could’ve used another verse, and a better hook. It’s not really bad tho. It’s just not that good either. 3/5
Track 6: Kiss The Sky Feat. Emil & Mike Gao
Fuuuuck. Why the hell is the production on this fucking album so good? It doesn’t make sense. Ehhh… I’m not really feelin’ this hook. It’s not too bad, but I don’t really think it’s good. Man, this beat is so fucking good. Mike Gao’s goin’ in on the first verse. He sounds pretty good on this beat, but it kinda leaves something to be desired lyrically. It’s not really bad tho. What the fuck? The song just fucking ended. What… The fuck? Why? This isn’t an Alex Wiley song. He’s nowhere to be found on this track. Maybe he produced it? I’m assuming that was Emil on the hook. Okay, this is kind of ridiculous. The only thing I liked about this track is the production. I’m not feelin’ this one. It’s wack to me. 2/5
Track 7: Japanese Feat. Twista (Prod. YOG$)
I’m not sure if the production credits for this track are legitimate; I got them from Genius. This beat is dope af. The hook’s fine. Man, I love Alex’s flow and delivery on this first verse. Okay, just based on what I’ve heard so far, this is my favorite track on the album. I love the lighthearted, airy vibe this track has. It kinda gives me the same feeling that a lot of the songs on Bucket List Project gave me. What the FUCK? Are you fucking shitting me? Jesus fucking Christ. He’s literally repeating the exact same verse he just spit. Okay, I don’t wanna sound like a dick, but so far this album is giving me the impression that Alex Wiley is lazy as fuck. He’s just not rapping enough. I remember having the same problem with Kembe X’s album, Talk Back, and I’m pretty sure they’re in the same clique, so maybe that’s just how they are. But yeah, most of these songs only have one verse, and the previous track didn’t even have one from Alex. I really like this verse from him, but I don’t need to hear it more than once in the same fuckinig song. This bridge is nice. Oh shit. Lmao. Yes. Twista. He killed it. Fuck. I’m not gonna go easy on this track. He shouldn’t have done what he did. Either spit a new verse, or don’t bother trying to pad the song out like this. This song is dope, but it could’ve been so much better. I still fuck with it tho… 4/5
Track 8: Holy Ghost Feat. Calez
This beat is fantastic. These vocals on the intro are hilariously bad tho. Once the actual hook starts it gets a lot better. This is really dope. I guess that’s Calez. Yeah, the way he was singing on the intro sounded really weird, but I actually love this hook. He sang the whole first verse too. It wasn’t bad. Oh. Okay, I actually think that was Alex singing because Calez was on the second verse. I wasn’t really crazy about his contribution to this song, but he didn’t ruin it. I actually think this is my favorite song so far. It would’ve been cool if Alex actually rapped his verse instead of singing it, but it was still really dope sonically. I fuck with this track. This is dope af. 5/5
Track 9: Navigator Truck Feat. Chance The Rapper & Calez (Prod. YOG$)
Again, all the production credits I have are taken from Genius, so take them with a grain of salt. Anyway, this is the one song I’d already heard before starting this review. I don’t remember too much about it, other than the fact that I really enjoyed it when I first heard it. It’s starting now. This beat is dope af. Calez did his thing on the first verse. The hook from Alex is pretty good. Chance’s verse was cool. Wow. The song just ended. Of course Alex didn’t have a verse. He just did the hook and bridge. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Okay, I like this track. I’m sure it’s the most popular track on the tape just because it has Chance on it. That kinda sucks. Chance really wasn’t that great on this song. I liked his verse, but I think Alex could’ve done better than that. This is still a dope track tho. I fuck with this. 4/5
Track 10: Play
This beat is dope. Alex’s flow is nice on this first verse. Thank God he’s actually rapping. Eh… I’m not crazy about this hook. The loud ass background vocals are kinda jarring. The actual hook itself is awesome lyrically tho. “Where the fuck were you when I was in the closet putting knives up on my left wrist? / Where the fuck were you when I was in the projects niggas tryna take my necklace?” I just wish this was better sonically. The second verse where he was singing sounded pretty good tho. Ugh… I really want to like this song, but those background vocals during the hook were a serious deal breaker for me to be honest. It just feels like something’s off about this track. I don’t think this is bad at all. I just can’t really get fully behind it. 3/5
Track 11: Residual Effects Feat. Hippie Sabotage
This beat is dope. These vocals on the hook are pretty bad. I’m assuming that’s Hippie Sabotage. The song just ended. Of course there’s only one verse. I’m sorry, but this track really isn’t doing it for me. I liked the beat, and Alex Wiley’s flow was pretty nice, but aside from that this was a pretty boring track. It’s pretty generic lyrically, and I’m not feelin’ the hook. This is wack to me. 2/5
Track 12: Heaven’s Gate (Prod. Bentley Haze)
I’m really not feelin’ this hook. The vocals sound really off key. The beat’s kinda strange. It has these loud, high pitched, operatic female vocals. His flow is really nice on this first verse. Of course that was the only verse on the song. It’s over. Honestly… I think this might be my least favorite song on the whole album. I liked Alex’s flow on the verse, but aside from that I wasn’t really feelin’ it. I didn’t even really like the production. The lyrics were nothing special either. Yeah… Nah. This is a really underwhelming title track, and a really underwhelming outro, and a really underwhelming song in general. This is wack to me. 2/5
This is an okay album. It’s kinda good, but not really. It’s definitely not bad tho. Let’s get the criticism out of the way first… Alex Wiley needs to rap more. He just came off really lazy on a lot of these tracks. The majority of these songs only have one verse from him. There was one track where he used the same verse twice. One of these songs didn’t even have him on it at all. Another one only had him on the hook and bridge. It’s like he’s doing the bare minimum in order to put out his own music. If he didn’t wanna write more verses, he should’ve just cut this down to an EP and made the songs longer. It’s already a pretty short project anyway. Lyrically, a lot of these songs are just super average. If you listen to this album none of the lyrics are gonna stand out. You’re not gonna remember any of the words to any of these songs after listening to this project. Also, some of the vocals on these hooks were pretty goddamn rough. They were never really bad enough to completely ruin any of the songs, but a lot of them could’ve been much better. Let’s talk about the shit I actually liked on this album. First of all, the production on this album is immaculate. As I mentioned before, this project sounds a lot more polished than 90% of the other shit being released today. The production is definitely the best thing about this album. It’s pretty annoying that he never credited his producers. Aside from the production, I’d say the only other thing that ever really stands out is Wiley’s flow. He sounds great when he’s rapping. He’s really good at finding the perfect pattern to fit in each beat. Honestly, I think that’s enough for him to be an entertaining rapper. Just look at A$AP Rocky. Most of his music is fucking terrible lyrically, but it’s dope anyway because his flow is so good. You don’t have to be a great lyricist as long as you’re fun to listen to. Thankfully, Alex Wiley IS fun to listen to. The only problem is he doesn’t contribute enough to his own work. I think this is an okay, album and I’m glad I listened to. I’d say it’s worth checking out if you’ve liked a lot of the newer artists who’ve been coming out of Chicago lately, but just keep low expectations.
Favorite Song: Holy Ghost
Least Favorite Song: Heaven’s Gate
Tell me if I’m trippin’ in the comments below
Share this review on Twitter & Facebook
Follow me on Twitter: @OGNickMarsh
So. I peeped this project out, and it was rather decent, but it left me wanting more, I will compliment the production by the unknown producers as they did a great job with the beats.
I’ll give this joint a 8.0/10
I can keep low expectations.
Will listen to this in a bit, to see what this cat’s about.