Song You Need: Wiki and Subjxct 5 bring in a cold front on “The Fonz”

The FADER’s “Songs You Need” are the tracks we can’t stop playing. Check back every day for new music and follow along on our Spotify playlist.

Whether it’s Wiki ruminating on the vigorous soul of a New York that’s fading away due to gentrification or Subjxct 5 tapping into the grungy digital sounds of 2000’s East Coast rap, they’re both interested in reimagining the past. You can feel the electrifying, pioneering spirit of the rap they grew up on coursing through their music. It’s familiar, but not content with pure nostalgia. That’s why it makes sense that they’ve teamed up for a joint tape in Cold Cuts, which comes out later this month. In late September, they dropped a 6-minute tour de force in “My Life,” and now they’re back with “The Fonz.” Judging from those two, we’re in for a cold-weather classic.

The very first voice you hear on “The Fonz” is Subjxct 5’s bassy thunderclap. “Wooo! New Wiki,” he shouts, extending all the vowels like he’s Michael Buffer. Subjxct’s not simply a producer here — he’s gone full mix show host, talking enough shit to get everyone riled up for the next few months and tossing colorful ad libs all over the track. Wiki’s sturdy voice sits in the middle of the dramatic strings and rumbling drums, his noodly flow undisturbed by Subjxct’s chaotic drops. The way Wiki stuffs his bars with syllables on here is magical. Whenever he starts speeding up to squeeze in a few more words, it’s a smooth and nearly unnoticeable acceleration. “Can’t forget the events that went down when the memory of it is in my muscle,” Wiki sighs. He treats it like an aside, but it sounds like he’s been ready to let some steam off for years.

Thumbnail image taken from YouTube. “The Fonz” was directed by Christopher Currence.