Alex Wiley is in touch with his feelings. We don't mean that pejoratively--for one, this isn't 2003. Second (and more importantly), that sensitivity is what makes Wiley a compelling artist. Worrying that he was becoming too weighed down by the stress of coming up with a proper followup to his acclaimed Village Party, Wiley returned to square one, crafting a series of songs that were fun, loose and reminded him of why he began rapping in the first place. Those tracks became One Singular Flame Emoji, the new EP the rapper released for free early this morning (March 10).

The nine-song set is curated by Closed Sessions, the Chicago artists' movement dedicated to preserving and documenting the creative process in hip-hop. Led by raucous cuts like "Sexual Dolphin," the set is a carefree reminder that Wiley is here for the proverbial party and won't leave until all the teens and twenty-somethings are holding red Solo cups. "Top Of The World" is a tour de force, exercising Wiley's considerable versatility as both a vocalist and a writer. Though the project was crafted under a tight, self-imposed 30-day deadline, it feels fully fleshed out in a way that would be admirable no matter the time frame. A full LP from Wiley is expected some time in 2015.

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