January 22, 2018

Wiki, Formerly of the Hip-Hop Collective Ratking, Strikes Out on His Own

Wiki, Formerly of the Hip-Hop Collective Ratking, Strikes Out on His Own


Photo

The rapper Patrick Morales, better known as Wiki, in Brooklyn.

Credit
Nathan Bajar for The New York Times

Patrick Morales, a.k.a. Wiki

Age 24

Hometown Upper West Side of Manhattan

Now Lives In a railroad apartment in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, with his girlfriend and two cats.

Claim to Fame Mr. Morales, better known by his stage name Wiki, is a gaptoothed rapper whose effusive verses chronicle the intricacies and exploits of growing up in New York. “You got this freedom — from the moment you can go home on your own, you can go anywhere,” Mr. Morales said. “By the time you’re 21 you’re either long gone or you’re under control.”

Big Break In 2011, while he was a student at the Brooklyn Friends School, Mr. Morales linked up with the rapper-producer Sporting Life (whom he met at a Lower East Side park jam) and formed the experimental hip-hop group Ratking. They were soon joined by Hak, Mr. Morales’s childhood friend, and signed with HXC, a label under XL Recordings. Their debut full-length album, “So It Goes, was released in 2014 and was favorably reviewed. After HXC and Ratking dissolved, XL asked Mr. Morales to come aboard as a solo artist.

Photo

Mr. Morales at his home in Brooklyn.

Credit
Nathan Bajar for The New York Times

Latest Project Last summer, he released his debut solo studio album, “No Mountains in Manhattan, to strong reviews from Pitchfork and Spin. Named after a line in Martin Scorsese’s “Mean Streets,” the album’s eclectic contributors included big names like Ghostface Killah, as well as the local M.C.s ACAB and Slicky Boy. “It’s kind of gritty but melodic at the same time,” said Mr. Morales, who is quick to underline that almost all the recording was done in New York. “My albums are like a creeper, a slow build. You got to listen close.”

Next Project After a Dec. 8 show at Irving Plaza (part of a five-week tour), Mr. Morales will turn his attention to his new group, Secret Circle, that includes the Bay Area rapper Antwon and Lil Ugly Mane, a rapper and producer from Virginia. They plan to release a record late next year. “We’re all hella different with different styles but all kind of connect as homies so it works,” Mr. Morales said.

For the Boys Recognizing the advantage of his early start in the music industry, he is keen to guide and nurture the younger guys in his crew. “I got to learn how to do this early on and I have a really good idea how to do it, so I feel like I can give them that insight,” Mr. Morales said. “What’s your music going to sound like if you’re not pushing for anything?”



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