Welcome to the second edition of The Refresh, a series we’re producing with Hennessy V.S that explores the way Latino artists are bringing tradition into their music with a fresh spin. For this installment, we teamed up with Irish-Puerto Rican rapper Wiki of NYC’s beloved group Ratking. Wiki explores his Latinidad in a way that varies from many of the best-known boricua lyricists that came before him; he’s not necessarily dropping salsa steps or mixing reggaeton rhythms into his work à la Big Pun and Noreaga, but he certainly tips his hat to those legends. His sharp rhymes play off of the witty humor and raw honesty found in the storytelling tradition of Nuyorican hip-hop, but they’re decidedly rooted in the present.
The second solo project he’s currently working on will no doubt continue to illustrate his world in the way that that only he, the mind behind “Livin’ With My Moms,” can. Get a preview in this video, as he runs through a mango tree-inspired a cappella from “Leppy Coquí,” a song that will be included on the new album, in addition to bars from the previously released “WikiFlag.”
Wiki spends the clip traversing the New York that he knows and loves as your standard pedestrian and flashing that charming tooth gap he’s been rocking for the past few years. Stumbling down park slopes, chopping it up in a low-key bedroom, and holding court on highway overpasses may not be the stuff of rap game kings, but it’s an apt illustration of the life of a guy who has proven his worth by staying real to his own Nuyorican experience.