Most of the time when I write an artist profile I like to dig through the interwebs for as much biographical information on the artist that I can find. I’m not going to do that this time, but you can get some background on Patrick “Wiki” Morales via Complex. Sometimes an artist comes along that is so relentless, so raw yet prodigiously talented, that you have to let the project speak for itself.
Wiki’s debut album “1993” (here) is only 7 songs, but the album is moving, funny, and insightful, despite the short runtime. He may only be 18, but the fact that he concludes his project with a 20 minute interview that he and his friends did with filmmaker and professor Christine Choy speaks volumes of the the record’s depth. Choy covers her time growing up as an immigrant (US, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, and the US), her time with the Black Panthers and the Weather Underground, and her low opinion of the rich and privileged NYU students that she teaches. Needless to say, it’s quite compelling. Even if Wiki is not your cup of tea, 1993 is worth the download for the Choy interview alone.
Wiki’s most popular song is “Wikispeaks”. The video is engaging and dynamic, and fits very well with the mood of the song. I think that it’s clear that Wiki’s artistic vision is layered. The song opens with the following declaration:
I gotcha eyes glued open/ You got an eye itch/ You wanna blink/ What you think? That ain’t a wise pick.
Lyrically, Wiki’s rhymes are packed with wordplay that doesn’t simply follow an A/B rhyme scheme. Wiki has a diversity of flows that fit seamlessly with the beats. On the second-half of the song “Retired Sports”, he even breaks into a spoken word delivery that gives traditional poets at run for their money.
Retired Sports-Wiki (Click to Play)
We some mutts, mixed spicks skinny niggas
Say word if these words paint a pretty picture
To every mother with a stroller, eyein’ me when I roll up
Know your kid’s gonna be just like me when he grows up
Just watch as he gets older
Saggy pants, lang-langin’ then kosher
Comin’ home late to dinner, he ain’t sober
Don’t blame it on the way that Wiki do’s it
New York will leave you gritty and foolish, it’s our city influence
It’s the same stupid kids on your stoop gettin’ suited
What you gonna do bitch?
You don’t wanna move into the metropolis
Where it’s getting polished, but it’s still ruthless
Later in the song, he even touches on police repression.
He’s just a average-assed cat with a gun they let you shoot
Protectin’ who? Strictly for the revenue
Always hear “get over here” brings me total fear
When it goes in my ear, even when I’m soarin’ and clear
It’s like they see the trouble in my eyes
Wiki is definitely a gifted rapper, and though his catalog is limited, I can say that he is one of the top young rappers out. I look forward to additional material from this artist, and I recommend you keep your “eyes glued open”.