Young, driven and experienced, this American artist of Irish and Puerto Rican decent is a prodigy of rap music. At a young age, Patrick Morales, known as Wiki, began rapping with a group of friends in high school. He later joined his former label in 2011 as a member of hip hop group The Ratking. From his first solo album No Mountains In Manhattan under XL records to his latest album Offie produced under his own label Wikset, the rapper has amassed a large following, and steadily rising in popularity among the panoply of emerging New York City artists. Uyoloconnects chats with the artist about his views regarding the evolution of rap music in general, as well as the attributes that make him the influential rapper that he is today.
Uyoloconnects: Wiki, you are one of the few influential rappers that still writes dope rhymes to beats that give your audience some of that good old-school vibe. Tell us your opinion on the evolution of rap music as a whole; say if Biggie, Nas and Snoop influenced your career when you started back in 2011 who would you pick as your top three favorite rappers/lyricist today?
Wiki: I enjoy watching the evolution of rap music and I am just as influenced by the music coming out today. It’s important for music to change and grow. It’s only natural and to try and stop that growth hurts the culture you got to just accept it on some level. As far as lyrically I would say KA, Your Old Droog and Mach-Hommy. But that’s in terms of lyrically. That new Uzi was fire as well and just started bumping The new Sheff g as well as mr. Motherfuckin exuire. But a lot of the time I be going back and trying to rediscover old shit as well. And always taking notes from my friends they’re usually more on it than me to be honest. I’m kinda out the loop.
Uyoloconnects: It is quite a jump from leaving XL recordings in 2018 to releasing your latest album oofie under your own label in 2019. What are your feelings on this new direction? What projects will you be working on for the rest of 2020?
Wiki: It was an important step for me that helped put things into perspective and I’m in a better place creatively cause of it I think. I’m still figuring out what direction I want to go next. And with everything going on lately I’ve been takings step back and taking time to meditate on that. But I do have a few little projects that should be out 2020.
Uyoloconnects: A unique aspect of your work is that it is pretty culturally diverse. Your remix of “That’s Not Me” with Skepta for instance was definitely different. You also worked on Dame Aqui with Princess Nokia who is of Puerto Rican descent, what other international artist would you collab with next if you had an opportunity to do so?
Wiki: Well I’m Puerto Rican too, half. But yeah I like working with people from all over. I like to travel and meet people and see what they’re doing on that side of the world and find those connections. Keep it natural though Skepta been the homie for a minute so it just came together and made sense. You can catch him on lil me too on god bless me. I been meaning to work with this producer and MC Eno from New Zealand. We have played a few shows together and become good friends but haven’t had a chance to collaborate yet.
Uyoloconnects: With your level of experience in the rap game, what advice do you have for newcomers who want to avoid becoming a one hit wonder or selling out to the industry? Which do you mostly drive your inspiration from, books or real life experience? Give us your top three favorite novels.
Wiki: I would say just try and stay focused on being creative and don’t let the other shit like hype and views and the industries perspective on things, sway you. You gotta find your path and if u want to go off that path do it. Don’t be scared to change. Just cause something worked doesn’t mean you have to only do that. Have fun with it and try shit out.
For me I get my influence from everything, movies, books, real life experience, just being out seeing other people’s experiences, traveling, learning new things.
I guess I read more non fiction but Kurt Vonnegut was my favorite writer growing up. Slaughter house 5, and breakfast of champions were some of my favorites. And also I just read godfather for the first time that shit is fire.
Uyoloconnects: What is the story behind your artist name “wiki”?
Wiki: Someone gave me that name actually it was lil wiki. When I was like 13 or 14. And it kinda just stuck and became a nickname for me when I would be out rapping in the city. But I also be saying mad random historical shit sometimes so it’s kinda like a Wikipedia reference as well. Like got all the facts. But it was kinda just a natural thing I didn’t sit around thinking of what my rap name should be.
Uyoloconnects: At the end of your rap career, how would you like to be remembered?
Wiki: I don’t wanna only be remembered as a rapper but as an artist and I think I have a lot more to offer. I hope people appreciate the work I laid down and some of the paths I paved with ratking. But I’m not trying to stress too much about how I’m remembered seems like a lot of pressure. I’m just trying to be happy, maintain, and create. So yeah maybe it’ll be me as a rapper or a writer or a whatever the hell I get up to next. Just always trying to self reflect and grow.
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