Wahid x WILT

Second-generation Jamaican, Floridian rapper Wahid shares his new single “WILT” (Feat. Kaelin Ellis). “WILT” is a monstrous boom bap jaunt with a dexterous and poignant flow documenting a tough period in the rapper's life.

Through Wahid’s sonic storytelling he refuses to submit to negativity and fatalism. His hip-hop collective had just wrapped their first national tour. Their DMs were flooded with A&Rs offering deals and producers looking to collaborate. One major label president – who had signed some of the biggest artists of the last quarter-century – told them that they were on the path to becoming global superstars. Then the group split up. It was over before it even began.

The ensuing depression was all-consuming. There were days where Wahid didn’t budge from bed, drawing the blinds closed, and numbing the wounds with bottle after bottle of liquor. Despite his best efforts to salvage the wreckage, none of his attempts yielded anything positive. But through the duress, he discovered his inner resilience and perseverance.

If you’re looking for comparisons, let’s start with if Black Thought was born two decades later and raised in Central Florida by a Jamaican DJ father who raised his progeny on a booming system of rocksteady, dancehall and reggae dubplates. As a teenager in the late 00s, his older brother exposed him to the classics of hip-hop’s second Golden Age. As Wahid describes it: “Nas made me want to rap, listening to the GZA’s Liquid Swords made me good at it, and Black Thought helped me refine my skills.”

But what makes Wahid sui generis is his gift for merging classic MC traditions with forward-thinking cadences and melodies. In his double-time acrobatic flows, he’s distinctly post-Kendrick Lamar, and Lil Wayne – blessed with a novelist’s eye for minor detail and a virtuoso’s gift for ransacking hidden pockets of a beat. He can turn a warped post-Dilla instrumental to ashes with 16 bars and croon a plaintive falsetto wail on the hook that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Jeremih album or sounding like a lost fifth member of TDE’s Black Hippy Crew which is no coincidence as 'WILT' was inspired by the flows Wahid heard on Isaiah Rashad’s ‘House is Burning’ album as he wanted to emulate those cadences plus the carefree vibe.