Alex Wiley – Hands Clean

Check out the new music from Alex Wiley, “Hands Clean.” Alex Wiley, a Chicago-based rapper who has been gaining a loyal following of late, dropped two new songs: “Visions” and “Hands Clean.” This new material comes after a long hiatus, his last major project coming last January when he gifted us with the Village Party 3 mixtape.

His new material, however, is worth the wait: solid, muscular and purposeful, it’s a wonder that we haven’t heard more from Wiley in what has been a very strong year for rap music in general. The production by Mike Gao is the real reason to write home about this track, because it is on point.

It’s got that gritty as hell Chi-town vibe but also shows some signs of real finesse, with the high keyboard-sounding accents giving the song a very polished feel while still sounding raw. It’s a very tricky balance to pull off, a small target that has escaped even the likes of NAV and other big names from time to time.

The sonic landscape that the production builds is very in tune with the city and its feeling of having a chip on its shoulder. Aiding in constructing that arms-length narrative is Wiley on the vocals, who exhibits some really nice flow on top of the already-monstrous beats.

He’s keeping his hands clean on a set of streets that are known for letting its occupants do anything but, and his wordplay really fleshes out that character from all sides. At one point, he even says that he thinks “every living human being” is part of his family which, in divided times, is quite a statement just on its own, never mind within the context of keeping your hands clean.

There’s no official word on further releases, single or otherwise, from Wiley or his team but, with “Hands Down,” you’ve got a song that will be on replay for a minute yet.