12. Wiki, 'No Mountains in Manhattan'
Wearing his New York City lineage proudly – could the stump speechifying of "Mayor" be any more Dipset? – Patrick "Wiki" Morales paints a striking portrait of the City. Highlighted by "yerrrs," bodegas and a Hudson River backdrop, Wiki's multi-syllabic rhymes and fidgety flows stand center stage. His words topple over each other, filtered through a pinched hustler's voice. Soulful, melodic cadences embellish the songs, but it's the relationship and addiction woes, plus being in a state of constant motion without actually going anywhere, that give the album its enthralling sprawl. Even in his anguish and disorientation, Wiki a is charismatic guide and his skyscraper mountains glow gorgeously even when they're closing in. The manic, off-kilter sound of his previous trio Ratking may have been ahead of its time, but with No Mountains in Manattan, Wiki is the right voice for a bewildered year. B.Y.