MIXTAPE REVIEW: Wiki - Lil Me
Wiki is a 22 year old rapper from NYC, but you might know him as the main MC of the rap group Ratking - whose 2014 album So It Goes was a crowd favourite and saw them appear on the Laneway Festival tour in Australia earlier this year. Then they released their free album 700 Fill, which expanded on their style further, adding more trap influenced beats. So while Ratking has been making waves in hip hop, Wiki has been making his own music in the meantime. This is his first solo debut and was released for free on Letter Racer.
Wiki has an impressive list of producers on this mixtape. With the opener track being produced by Madlib, and obviously Sporting Life is on the list, but other producers like Kaytranada, Lee Bannon, Black Mack, and more also appear. The production on this album is definitely a standout. This album is constantly moving between styles and similar sounds, ‘Hit The L’ sounding more like early Ratking with a beautiful soulful loop, and some more trap influenced, bassy tracks like ‘Old Blocks New Kids’. This keeps the album fresh as every song sounds just a little different from the next, but it’s done in a way that keeps the album coherent.
The features aren’t anything amazing on this project. I really enjoyed the song ‘God Bless Me’ with some great verses from Wiki, Sporting Life, and Skepta. However the other features just seem lacking.
Wiki excels in his lyrical impact. He discusses tour life and his own career, it gives you a great insight into his life and you can empathise with his struggles, losses, and feel his victories whenever he talks as he does so in such candid fashion. On ‘Living With My Moms’ he says "I don't even know / It's wherever the label tell me to go". He doesn’t try to make up some glamorous life for himself either, whether that be when he is touring or when he is home. He tells it how it is, on Ioneedmuch he says “I start out my day / Start when I say / What's in my head /Pardon the pain in my voice / My heart is in ache / Hop out of bed / Look like I dropped a grenade / My room is a mess / Sip on the brew that was left”. And on Sun Shadows he says “If you felt like I felt you'd get why I don't get dressed up / To get up on stage I swear wear sweats up on stage”. He doesn’t extend some glamorous life upon himself; he gives us a real image, something rap is truly missing.
However he seems to sometimes just mention, in an offhanded type of way some serious topics like drugs, but he just lets them float in the air, never really holding them down. He forces us to fill in the blanks in a way. Just feels like there is so much more he could say.
Overall this is a quality project from a rapper that is slowly proving himself and repping his city as he does it. New York is in safe hands.
Written by Rhys Prka
Fav tracks: WikiFlag, Living With My Moms, Hit The L, God Bless Me, Sonatine
Least fav tracks: Seedy Motherfucker
Release date: 7th December
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