(Copyright © 2021 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of Use )
Lil Me (2015), 6.5/10
No Mountains in Manhattan (2017), 6/10
Oofie (2019), 6/10
Half God (2021), 6.5/10
Telephonebooth (2021), 6.5/10

New York's rapper Patrick "Wiki" Morales was a member of the trio Ratking with fellow rapper Hakeem "Hak" Lewis and producer Hakeem "Sporting Life" Lewis, as documented on the EP Wiki93 (2012) and the album So It Goes (2014). Wiki then formed another trio, Secret Circle, with Lil Ugly Mane and fellow rapper Antonio "Antwon" Williams that only lasted a few months.

Wiki debuted solo with the impeccable 17-song mixtape Lil Me (2015), fundamentally an autobiography and diary, highlighted by the organ and percussion feast of WikiFlag, the mantra-like Livin' with my Moms, the nursery-rhyme-like Hit the L (produced by Sporting Life) and God Bless Me (produced by Skylar "Skywlkr" Tait), the "stoned" Cherry Tree (with Micachu singing a sleepy litany), the clownish Lil Me (another Sporting Life production, with a dancing synth and ghostly female counterpoint), the colloquial 3 Stories (produced in a jazzy style by Louis "Kaytranada" Celestin), the gritty Sunday School Dropout (produced by Rory "Harry Fraud" Quigley with Parisian accordion and flamenco-esque beat), the solemn Sonatine (produced by Lee Bannon like a church anthem), etc. The mixtape sags a bit towards the end, a sign that perhaps 17 songs is 5 too many. Not only the production style varies from song to song, but also the rapping style spans a broad range of delivery.

The EP What Happened to Fire? (2017) was a collaboration with fellow rapper Your Old Droog.

The New York concept No Mountains in Manhattan (2017) was the album of a devoted hip-hop traditionalist, including a collaboration with Sporting Life, Chinatown Swing and two collaborations with producer Antonio "Tony Seltzer" Hernandez: Mayor and especially the catchy Pretty Bull; but as a whole it was a lackluster effort.

Oofie (2019) was another mixed bag in different styles, although better produced by an army of collaborators, with only a handful of interesting songs: the depressing Grim with Lil Ugly Mane and Denzel Curry; the kaleidoscopic Freaks (a concentrate of contrasting sounds); The Act (with an intricate Slauson Malone production); Promises (in a languid, orchestral, Hawaiian flavor); the trap-influenced Dame Aqui' with Princess Nokia ; and the standout, Pesto, produced by Tony Seltzer with distorted synth, eclectic tabla-like percussion and trap hi-hats.

Then Wiki delivered his most cohesive album yet, Half God (2021), entirely produced by Sage "Navy Blue" Elsesser. The emotional peak is Wik da God (with distorted synth and fluctuating string melody), followed by Roof, about his porn addiction (with a somber neoclassical piano figure). Navy Blue shines in the cheerful Can't Do This Alone where chopped-up samples of vintage soul counterpoint the drumbeat. Navy Blue also crafts "stoned" atmosphers, like in the acid jazzy Remarkably, in Ego Death with its psychedelic vocal sample, and in New Truths with spaced-out dissonance and hiccupping beat. At the same time the production evokes easy-listening muzak in Never Fall Off (with a languid guitar riff), and Drug Supplier (the poignant story of a pusher), and Grape Soda (with suave vocal harmonies that hark back to doo-wop and church choirs).

Telephonebooth (2021) was a collaboration with producer Michul "Nah" Kuun that paired Wink's most emotional performances with highly creative productions, notably the disorienting No Work, the cacophonous Truth be Told and Frogskins, and the oneiric Things Stuff. At the other end of the spectrum, album's highlight Friendship is delightfully breezy and swinging. Wink's delivery had matured into something highly effective and

(Copyright © 2021 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )