After numerous raids on the mainstream, Wiley seems to have properly broken into the pop firmament.
If the MCs incendiary Step freestyles have seen him firing on all cylinders creatively, he’s also been doing the commercial business in 2012. Garish student floorfiller ‘Heatwave’ became Wiley’s first ever solo Number 1 in August, selling over 170,000 copies in the UK. Wiley has now released the tracklisting for the Warner-sanctioned LP The Ascent, and it’s his starriest record by a long stretch.
Unit shifters Emili Sandé and Tulisa have both been tapped up to appear, as have icky ‘Like a G6’ performers Far East Movement and Wiley’s crossover protege Chip (né Chipmunk). As ever, Wiley attempts to straddle the pop and grime markets: Skepta and JME feature on single ‘Can You Hear Me? (Ayayaya)’, and “7 grime MCs” have been recruited for ‘SkillZone Pt. 2.
When we spoke to Wiley about signing to a major once again, he assured us that there would be “something for everyone”; we’ll have to wait and see whether The Ascent spreads itself thin, or pulls off the balancing act. [via RWD]
New single ‘Can You Hear Me? (Ayayaya)’ is below. The Ascent is due in February 2013, if he doesn’t go and leak the thing first.
1. Ascent Intro
2. Chainsaw Ft. A-List
3. SkillZone Pt 2 Ft. “7 Grime Mc’s”
4. Heatwave Ft. Ms D
5. Hands In The Air Ft. Chip & Tulisa
6. Walking Through Fire
7. Stay Here
8. First Class Ft. Kano
9. Reload The Music Ft. Ms D
10. Common Ground Ft. Ryan Keen
11. Loving Every Minute Ft. Far East Movement
12. Lights On Ft. Angel
13. My Heart Ft. Emeli Sandé
14. Can You Hear Me? (Ayayaya) Ft. Skepta, JME & Ms D
15. Drink My Pain Away Ft. Stacy Barthe