Will Schube used to serve fiends hand-to-hand outside the Pump N Munch.
Wiki’s No Mountains in Manhattan framed him as an East Coast purist. The record was all bodegas and boroughs, chopped cheese bars and firecracker snares. His accent was a dead giveaway if the song titles weren’t, and his guests mostly carried 212 area codes. There was a Ghostface feature, an appearance from Your Old Droog, and even a verse from Das Racist affiliate, Lakutis. But the album shined because Wiki used the city as a prop, not a backdrop.
The gritty details of late nights in Chinatown and mayoral incompetence propped up a personal philosophy and mission statement from the former Ratking member. With his just released “Eggs,” he proves that this formula works. Wiki’s personality is transportable, it’s not tied to his home. He flies 3,000 miles west to link up with America’s blunted king, Madlib, and the track is as good as anything the emcee has penned to date.
You know what you’re getting with Madlib. The beat’s gonna knock, it’s gonna have soul, and it’s gonna be close to perfect. Wiki brings his best effort here, riding the crest of Madlib’s ascending and descending melody easily and fluidly. Wiki’s voice has always been his best attribute, generally veering towards a nasally growl but with enough play to bounce from upper to lower registers on a whim without it coming across as gimmicky.
Hearing Madlib with young emcees is a development any rap head would find thrilling, and in the wake of the sample king shouting out Fly Anakin on Twitter, maybe this is the start of a new era for the producer. Regardless, “Eggs” doesn’t mess around. It’s three minutes of unrelenting bars, an earworm of a hook, and a classic Madlib beat. It’s easy to order, but cooking it up takes two world-class chefs.