Alex Wiley, ShowYouSuck, Caleb James, St. Millie, Taylor Bennett, Kembe X, Jean Deaux | Lincoln Hall | Hip-Hop | Chicago Reader
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Alex Wiley, ShowYouSuck, Caleb James, St. Millie, Taylor Bennett, Kembe X, Jean Deaux All Ages Recommended Soundboard

When: Thu., June 6, 7:30 p.m. 2013
Price: $20, $10 in advance
Up-and-coming Chicago rapper Alex Wiley broke out in late 2011 as a guest on Self Rule, the debut mixtape by fellow Village MC Kembe X. Wiley’s rapid-fire, seesawing delivery over the languid, soul-sampling boom-bap of “Don’t Quit (Smoking and Shit)” is a big part of what made the track so phenomenal. It took Wiley about a year to make his own debut mixtape, Club Wiley (which Closed Sessions dropped on June 4, the day before he turned 20), and he packed a lot of work into those months. Lush and massive, Club Wiley has a clarity to its sound that draws out the musicality in the MC’s playful, puckish flow. Plenty of listeners are sure to check it out for its roster of contributors—Freddie Gibbs, Action Bronson, Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, GLC—but it’s Wiley’s eccentric, endearing pop songwriting that will keep the mixtape on repeat. On “K Swiss” he croons in Auto-Tune over a sample of Delorean’s “Real Love” and cuts in a bit of the juke track that gave his song its name; on “Spaceship II” he riffs on the sumptuous neosoul of the early Kanye track “Spaceship,” not only positioning his song as a sequel to Ye’s but also featuring GLC, who appears on the original; and on “Earfucked” he snarls over piled-up samples (the Arctic Monkeys, Ludacris, Ozzy Osbourne, a shrieking howler monkey, a bleating sheep, a machine gun), a hazy guitar solo, and rattling drums. Taken all together, the mixtape is ambitious, even overwhelming, but Wiley has the focus, drive, and swagger to pull most of it off. —Leor Galil ShowYouSuck, Caleb James, St. Millie, Taylor Bennett, Kembe X, and Jean Deaux open.


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