Wyo is a rapper you could easily skip by but once you realize you did, you'll be pissed at yourself. After listening to a shit-load of Asaad tapes, he became that random guest rapper that was added incentive to even listen to Saudi. Best thing about Wyo is his ability to be Philly as a whole--like covering all grounds that any rap listener would care about: He's not completely get stoned, eat Chinese food on the couch and play Xbox as Grande Marshall nor is he the super shit-talking street rapper that Meek has become, and he's definitely not as all over the place as Asaad. He has throwback Philly grit of a Beans or Freeway that none of those aforementioned new guys can seem to capture with any authenticity yet he still manages to be as compelling and experimental sonically as new wave rap continues to move. When I talked to him on Labor Day he attributed his assortment of styles to being a real person and not spending too much time in the studio; he'd rather spend his time living life so when he finally does get into the studio, he can flow with as much ease as possible. Asleep At The Wheel, the EP he released last week is a mash-up of styles and Wyo is sounding more polished than ever.
From the jump, he does the classic mixtape thing by hopping on Dom Kennedy's "My Type Of Party" beat for "Block Party". It's usually bad news to hop on a beat that's neither a classic hip-hop staple or a currently hot one but somehow for a split second before realizing, "Oh. this is that Dom beat", Wyo has you thinking that this is all original material—which is either a testament to how good he raps on this or how less I've cared for Dom's music these past two years.From there, Asleep At The Wheel is really just rappity rap at its best and nothing else, which is completely fine here. His endless wind is Meek-like on tracks like "Idol Talk (Kill Your Idols)" where he barely takes a breath. The wordplay is on point too: "Golden Era flow, they should put me on vinyl/ This kid need riches, you be bitchy like Nicole, I get bitches like Lionel/ Lions in the jungle get tamed by the bull/ Now the killer lines open got some strings to get pulled". He's Grande-like on the dual track (Something Asaad typically does) "Release a Wy/ Fuqq On Top Of The Money" as he spits for 7-plus minutes over stoner-centric cruise production. He's at his most experimental on "That's What You Get"; the production could easily go to some teenybopper kid but he takes it and goes harder than he does on the rest of the project.
Most of this EP is Wyo taking time out to show how many flows he can properly execute and he accomplishes each try. Getting back to his real-person-ism, taking jabs at phony rappers and ones that can't meet the mark talent-wise is also a big theme here too. Wyo keeps alive something that weirdly gets overlooked in internet rap right now, the ability to rap really well. Every track is a lyrical exercise, which alone is entertaining. That's what makes Chance The Rapper, Earl Sweatshirt and Underachievers all worth listening to right now...they can actually fucking rap. In that same conversation he told me that Asleep On The Wheel, more than anything, translates to him being on autopilot with rap; he's spent so much time in studios sharpening his technical skill, that he sometimes doesn't notice what he's doing, which is why he can fit a package of flows into one song. Since he has that part covered, concepts and ideas is what he has to focus on now. The delivery is there. This EP proves that.
Stream & Download Asleep At The Wheel HERE .