Wiki is one of my favorite emcees. He’s got a voice and flow that is unmistakable with prose delivered in deliberate, stabbing sentences. This short film traces Wiki’s journey towards a rap career, and his parallel relationship with NYC, using the context of a 5-Borough tour that coincided with his recent LP, No Mountains In Manhattan.
Wiki teamed up with Boiler Room on the tour and film, making the footage intimate, raw and imperfect. In true Boiler Room fashion, Wiki took to non-traditional venues such as a Brooklyn Beer Hall, Staten Island Skate Park, Bronx backyard, Queens rooftop, and for the finale, took his talents to the storied Nuyorican Cafe.
Wiki travels to each show on public transportation. His journey to each venue simultaneously traces his upbringing in NYC. “Once you could take the train on your own… it’s like you can do anything. And that could take you down any route. That can make you get into anything,” Wiki says in the film.
As discussed in the 21-minute documentary, Wiki choose Hip Hop as early as 6th grade. Routinely hitting the Rec Center, which led to frequent subway trips en route to cyphers, shows, and parties. As he traveled he took in a fuller picture of what it meant to live and rep NYC in life and his music. That discovery remains a main element of his music, and a large reason why Wiki is embraced so heavily in New York that he has been bestowed the nickname of The Mayor. It’s not just a false claim, or something he chooses to brag about, but a point of honor and significant muse.
“I always loved New York. It’s always been that thing, I always wanted to represent.When I was younger I wanted the thing that said ‘New York’ on it. I wanted motherfuckers to know. I realized getting older that it’s like, ‘nah, you do you.’ That’s the best way to be New York.”
The documentary follows Wiki through each performance as well as the planning and gives a glimpse into an artist that cares deeply for New York as well as the people that make the city what it is. It’s further evidence of Wiki’s endearing qualities as a emerging artist. The film also provides a new context with which to enjoy his album.
Now if only we can get him out here for a Digital Freshness.