Alex Wiley caught the attention of the hip-hop world after the summer release of his "Village Party" album, proving himself to be one of Chicago's most promising artists on the rise. The Huffington Post is pleased to premiere his brand new track, "Top of the World," which was written and arranged by Wiley, Blev and Carter Lang.
“I made this song when I was working on a project called 'Generous Dubsack,'" Wiley said during his lunch break in the middle of a 12-hour studio session. "[The project] was loosely based on my high school experience, but it was about a kid who’s having a hard time in school, flunking out of high school basically. A lot of shit’s going on in his life, he’s really depressed and he’s suicidal. He plans to kill himself every weekend after school, but every Friday he has a ritual that he buys weed and his dealer always gives him more than he pays for. It was going to be about that human connection and I kind of scrapped the project, but I made a few songs for it -- including 'Sexual Dolphin' and 'Lil Stoner Boi' -- and this was the main song that made me want to make this project in the first place.”
"Top of the World" draws comparisons to the attitude and feeling that can be associated with Kid Cudi's "Man on the Moon" series, but provides a format that proves tougher on the listener's stomach. Eschewing any semblance of verse or chorus, Wiley forces listeners to count every beat, pressing replay after each listen to try to memorize its abstract structure. Sticking to his sing-song rhymes, as a helix of synthesizers whirls in and out overtop of a grounding steady four-on-the-floor kick, the song elevates while tapping into the burdens that are a part of everyday life. Searching for the beauty in the parts that aren't so pretty, Wiley wants to challenge his listeners by creating music that they wouldn't expect to hear from him.
"I’m trying to make music that’s uncomfortable, but the sound is progressive enough and intriguing enough that it makes you listen to something that you wouldn’t necessarily have before," Wiley said. "I want it to be more than just something you can put on and nod your head to with your friends in your car, but I don’t want it to be limited to something that you can only listen to by yourself because it's so sad and introspective that you feel awkward listening to it with other people.
“I’m trying to make dark, beautiful things, essentially, because I want my music to stand beyond now," Wiley added. "My whole thing now is perspective, like, how am I going to feel about this later? Am I going to be proud of all of this or am I going to be ashamed of the time that I was a young kid-rapper saying reckless shit on the Internet?”
About halfway into his next album, which will be titled "Silent Party," "Top of the World" functions as a sonic bridge. For fans in Chicago, Wiley will be headlining a free show Wednesday, Dec. 10.