Best Of

Best Prep School Gangster


“I walk and I talk all day, what I say is what I saw that day,” Wiki spits on “Sunday School Dropout,” and with one couplet the young Upper West Side rap rat captures a two-decade-old daily regime for day school truants citywide. Lil Me, his first solo effort since coming of age as a part of Ratking, sneaked in last December and has thumped quietly through the year as one of the best modern documents of life as a teenager on Manhattan Island: aimless, defiant, innocent, and sinister all at once, sharper than his outer-borough peers and ever curious about the world beyond his train lines. He’s decluttered a lot of the noise that defined Ratking’s sound and aged past the nasal mischief of the group’s Wiki93 for a tape rife with stories and characters: his girlfriend, Princess Nokia; his mentor, Aaron Bondaroff; and, of course, his mom. Now based in Chinatown, Wiki and his Letter Racer collective have taken on the noble cause of keeping downtown on its toes, contributing new art to the city instead of just fetishizing the legends of old.