The scraggly and idiosyncratic Manhattan rapper Wiki is a former member of Ratking and a great avatar for the phenomenon of New York dirtbag-rap. Two years ago, Wiki released his underrated solo album No Mountains In Manhattan. Last year, he teamed up with the British rappers JJ and Obongjayar for a pretty great single called “Elixir.” And today, he’s come back with a new jam called “Cheat Code,” which feels like it’ll be more than a one-off.
“Cheat Code” is a low-key, skittering New York rap track with a big, off-kilter beat that nods to old-school video-game sound effects. Wiki’s flow has become both more commanding and more complex, though he still gives off the appealing sense that he’s staggering down a sidewalk a three in the morning. On “Cheat Code,” Wiki uses that inimitable voice to go in on the idea — from old video games, again — that there’s a shortcut to avoid life’s complexities. Judging by the cover art, I’d say there’s a good chance we’ll see an animated, video-game-themed music video sometime soon.
In a press release, Wiki says:
The song is sort of about the question of if there’s a cheat code to life. Ultimately there isn’t. I talk about cheat codes specifically and drop some references, but I also talk about coming up and getting around in New York. It’s a joint. It bangs. It’s produced by my guy Tony Seltzer who’s also from New York.
That same press release promises more Wiki music this year.