I would like to imagine that the New York rapper Wiki and the Belgium-based producer NAH bonded over having the two most difficult-to-Google names on the entire rap landscape. That’s probably not what happened, though. Wiki, the former leader of Ratking, has been getting comfortable getting further and further out on the astral plane in his music lately. Two years ago, he released a great solo album called Oofie. Today, he and NAH have followed it up with a truly strange and experimental collaborative effort called Telephonebooth.
NAH is Mike Kuhn, former drummer of 1994!, an emo-revival band from Pennsylvania. These days, Kuhn lives in Antwerp and makes warped, staggered rap beats. His tracks don’t really sound like anything else; they exist on their own psychedelic plane, and I have a hard time imagining what most rappers would do with them. But those beats make an oddly perfect complement for Wiki’s slurry, idiosyncratic flow.
On Telephonebooth, Wiki gets loose over NAH’s loping, decentering beats, and the two of them really click into a hallucinatory groove. There’s only one guest on the album, the unknown-to-me forhornleghornn. Really, the album sounds like a private conversation between two artists, or like Wiki figuring out the puzzle of how to rap to these weird-ass beats. Stream it below.
Telephonebooth is out now, and you can get it at Bandcamp.