On Wiki’s first studio album No Mountains in Manhattan, the enigmatic and charismatic rapper builds on where he left off on his mixtape Lil Me. He displays his quirky, braggadocio lyrics, on soulful yet synth and 808s heavy production. What I’ve always admired about Wiki and Ratking’s music in the past is their ability to set a mood and tone which defined Nw York city. Listening to Lil Me I felt like I was genuinely walking through the streets of Manhattan in sinking in the atmosphere and culture there. And bearing in mind I’ve still never been to New York, that’s a powerful thing. But on No Mountains in Manhattan, this is more poignant and powerful. The grimy nature of the sound transports you to Wiki’s world of addictions, other people, police troubles and living life in the big city.
With collaborations from rappers Your Old Droog and Ghostface Killah, who both kill their verses, Wiki is diversifying his sound and challenging himself to not only compete with some of the best rappers, but also collaborate to strengthen his own storytelling abilities. Earl Sweatshirt contributes under his randomblackdude producer alias on two tracks – ‘Wiki New Written’ and ‘Leppy Coqui.’ Kaytranada produced ‘Baby Girl’ which is a standout love song, but the majority of the production is handled by Tony Seltzer and New York producer Alex Epton, who has worked with Wiki and Ratking before.
Overall, this album is a strong addition to Wiki’s growing presence and influence on East Coast hip-hop, and I hope he continues to grow as an artist, because he is deserving of all the praise he can get.
Purchase Wiki’s No Mountains in Manhattan, released via XL Recordings below via Apple Music.