If you, like many of Wiki’s fans, were introduced to the Harlem MC via his 2012 track “Wikispeaks,” you remember exactly where you were the first time you heard his voice. A snaggletoothed snarl, it twists and turns through acrobatic turns of phrase like a more ferocious MF DOOM or Earl Sweatshirt, the young artist’s uptown swag dripping from every line. As a solo artist or a member of the groups Ratking and Secret Circle, Wiki’s wordy rapping has been a staple in the underground community for five years, despite the fact that he’s only 23.
Wiki’s last solo project, Lil Me, dropped in December 2015, and he’s now gearing up for a follow-up. We got a tantalizing preview in the form of the track “Icarus,” released back in March, but other than that, details on it are scarce. Perhaps some clues are offered in Wiki’s new MERRY JANE playlist takeover, which you can stream below.
In addition, the young MC graced us with a bonus interview, speaking about smoking, dream collaborations, guilty pleasures, and his hometown, among other things.
Read on below and stay tuned for that new Wiki project!
MERRY JANE: What is your most memorable smoking experience?
Wiki: I remember back in the day-- I must have been fifteen-- there was a snow day from school. Me and my boy Reuben met up at like seven in the morning and we just were smoking in the middle of the avenue, no fucks given, ‘cause it was so fucked up there were no cars out. The streets were dead. It don’t seem like much but it was just one of those memorable days. Being young and free to smoke in the middle of the city was the best thing possible at the time.
If you were a boxer, what song would you come out to?
“Fly In” by Lil Wayne.
If you were going to go out guns blazing, what song would you choose to do it to?
Who is your guilty pleasure artist?
The West Side Story soundtrack.
What song most reminds you of your childhood?
The Dipset freestyle on Rap City: The Basement.
Which song that you've released means the most to you?
“Sun Showers,” the last song on [my 2015 mixtape] Lil Me.
Who has been your favorite artist to work with? What is your dream collaboration?
I’d have to say Antwon. That’s my brother. We’ve been working together for a minute and have always been real close. He also introduced me to Lil Ugly Mane, which [the group] Secret Circle came out of. I’ve actually got an MC on my next album that is a dream come true, who I’ve loved since I was young, I mean like since I first fell in love with hip hop. Let’s just say, "Wu-Tang is for the children".
What's in your near future? Any projects you are currently working on?
I got an album coming out real soon. Just keep posted.
Is the dynamic working solo as opposed to in a group (as you were in Ratking) any different? How so?
Yea, it’s different. With Ratking we all played our part and you would only have to pick up a certain amount of the slack. You know, you didn’t have to be the only one arranging everything and coming up with the concepts, which made something real unique. But with the solo stuff it’s like fully my vision, which is also important to me. Everything’s a little more personal with the Wiki stuff. In Ratking I’m talking from more of an overarching perspective.
Can you talk about how New York figures in your music and aesthetic? How prominent a role does it play in your inspiration?
New York is one of the most important inspirations to my music. It’s just a part of me. I couldn’t try and separate it from what I make. Certain issues going on for kids and young adults in the city play a role, but also just the daily characters you encounter in the city always make their way into my music.