Review of The Ascent by Wiley
Many of our younger readers probably think Wiley is new to the game thanks to recent hits, ‘Heatwave‘ and ‘Can You Hear Me’. But his roots are much deeper in the UK urban scene having been in the game since the turn of the millennium with his SS Crew. He joined different crews in between, but it was with the formation of Roll Deep where he really came to the fore. Roll Deep also featured Dizzee Rascal and others known in the game today.
Without wishing to bore or even patronise some of you with a history lesson, lets bring this right back up to date. Wiley is back with a new album. ‘The Ascent’ is here and you already have a flavour of what it might sound like from the two recent hits. The album is released on April Fools Day or 1st April and features a list of collaborators as long as your arm. Just like his tour, Wiley likes to have his “family” around him. Guests include French Montana, Far East Movement and a who’s who of UK talent including Ghetts, Lethal Bizzle, Ms D, Emeli Sande, Tulisa and loads more.
The bangers ‘Heatwave‘ featuring Ms D, ‘Can You Hear Me’ featuring JME, Skepta, Ms D, and ‘Reload‘ featuring Chip and Ms D need no introducing. The next single to be taken off this album is ‘Skillzone’ that features a roster of talent including Ghetts, Griminal, Manga, Frisco, Double S, Scratchy & Big Shizz. This is another huge track that is going to cement Wiley‘s rise along the UK urban star trail.
Now I am not a big fan of former NDubz singer and now sacked X Factor judge Tulisa, but I got to say the track she appears on could go some way to repair her shattered reputation as an urban artist. ‘Hands In The Air’ is a bit of a party number that sees Wiley rap his way through creating an ambience with his tone and voice. He is joined on the track by Tulisa and Ice Kid who sing on the quite powerful electronic sounding beat. The track also has a quality hook, meaning it is genuinely worth a listen.
In another moment of inspiration, through the form of ‘Lights On’. Wiley calls on UK urban successes, Angel and Tinch Stryder. The whole sound is really up-tempo with an infectious beat, surely produced to be a future single release.
On some albums when the mix of artists and collaborations is so vast, the artist can lose his identity and the album can lose flow. Wiley suffers no such identity crisis on ‘The Ascent’. The depth and breadth of talent on display just goes to support the final product. Wiley is quickly establishing himself as one of the hottest contemporary urban artists in the UK. The production values on his music are first class at present. Wiley has really focussed on his rhymes and his delivery is tight. He is also good at getting the best out of his black book.
I would definitely say that this album is a must listen. If you haven’t heard it, hear it. If you haven’t got it, get it. Congratulations Wiley a really good album that you should even push stateside, I think they might just like it.