Vile Blakkey, representing King Willy, dropped his first solo project late last year titled SELiV. The Bl has been following Vile for a minute now. The first time we heard him was on PeeJays project, I Rep 5605, which was released in 2014. He later teamed up with Ulu on a project titled The Colour Black, which was in fact his second time on a joint project. All this time Vile has been cooking, dropping single and making appearances on different projects. He really came into his own on the D.R.U.G.S album. It got to the point where we felt that a solo project was long overdue. I guess Vile was one step ahead of us because he announced the release of his solo project soon after.
The birth of SELiV:
On 29 August 2017 Vile dropped his first solo project. Reflecting on singles like Decisions, Dirty Diena and All That Jazz – which hit the street prior the release, we already knew that it would be a roller-coaster ride with peaks and valleys.
23:4, the intro of the tape is reminiscent of the feeling one has right before setting off on a journey. With quotables like “I gotta go get it myself, I gotta go chase the wealth / Move like a ninja with stealth, if nobody sees me then I did it well”. Vile sets off stating his mission and noting he has nothing to lose.
The tape has been presented in a way that gives the listener insight on the mission Vile is on as an Indie artist. With that said, the production on this tape is very heavy and dark. Majority of the production credits were given to John A, who is also responsible for most of the production coming out of Thiird Eye. RetroRaw handled the interludes, MatterOfOpinion and Ain’tNothingWrongPouringALitre, which are shorter, light hearted joints that have their own vibe to them. Vile also has production credits on this tape which shows how hands on he was in making this project.
Decisions certainly earns its spot on the “EC classick Tracks” and this is a topic we need to revisit cause no matter how much you play this joint it can never get played out. The production on this song is the reason why The Bl told the world to look for John A’s production by putting him on our first Producers to look out for list.
Vile raises the ‘Level’ when he links up with his day 1s. We say Day 1 cause it comes full circle for us when we hear Vile, Mimz Expo and PeeJay on a track. This was the lineup in 2014 and to date this lineup still packs that heat. On Extralife Vile gets more personal and this is new to us because it’s the first time we hear him talk about his personal life. The whole tape has been focused on exploring new ground. On this track he takes a moment to look back and reflect on a ‘lost one’.
As introspective, dark and heavy as this tape is, there is a silver lining that comes from songs like the Happy Song. This is a very experimental track yet works very well to lift the mood. Vile isn’t sad or anything like that, on the song he asks, “Have you ever seen a sad rock star?”
When Vile dropped All That Jazz as a single it never really made sense to us. It seemed as though he may have been taking a different direction to his music. However, hearing it within this project makes all the more sense cause even though Vile is on this journey and he seems to be fighting all day, every day for his artistry – he seems to have found paradise in all the madness.
I hope you’re still with me…
Dirty Diana sets off the fourth quarter and it has that bounce we know Vile for. The energy is kept on the tracks to follow The Way and Tonight. On the last track Vile teams up with LLN, which comes as a surprise to us since this collaboration seemed like an unlikely one for us. To be honest after reading the track list we jumped straight to this track right here. We like seeing artists who are not crew affiliated working together to achieve a common goal.
We played SELiV from front to back yet we still had questions. Look out for part two: The interview.
Have you listened to SELiV? What were your thoughts on the project, lets continue the conversation.