At 19, Ric Wilson possesses a voice and worldview years beyond himself and isn’t afraid to take a stand with his carefully crafted raps. Having only popped up on our radar in the last six months, Wilson has made a splash with a recent run of singles and videos that resulted in his PennyRaps EP which caught the attention of outlets across the country including Ebony, The Source, BET and more.
His music comes packages with a certain distinctive smirk, as if he’s only allowing us a piece of a much more intricate story and his style comes ripped from the pages of free-thinkers like Atlanta’s Raury. Together with David Ellis he is one half of the duo ‘Fuck Yo Institution’ which packs volumes of meaning into rap tracks that can keep your head bobbing while simultaneously filling it with new ideas and angles of understanding. “Holy Holy” has been one of my most oft-repeated track that has dropped in the last couple of months and is the kind of song that would make his hometown’s conscious forefather proud of their influence. His most recent single, “You Need Me” is a new direction; up-tempo and island-influenced that is perhaps one of the most commercially-viable tracks that have hit the internet recently. As always, it’s anything but light: “Don’t act like you need me/when n***as was hurting you didn’t believe me” he sings with impassioned sensibilities, draped throughout in a thin veil of autotune. It is Chicago after all.
An avid activist, Wilson’s songs often come pointed with the sort of conscious understanding of the world that outsiders have come to expect from the ‘Go and he was one of the 8 delegates chosen to travel to Geneva, Switzerland in November of 2014 representing the We Charge Genocide coalition which accused Chicago police of systemic misconduct. Earlier this year he traveled to Ferguson, Missouri to stand up to the injustices of police violence on the year anniversary of Mike Brown’s assassination in a public street. At a time when the social foundations of the world seem at odds, it’s refreshing to see there is an understood generation also trying to make sense of it all. Ric Wilson is determined to be more than just another rapper from Chicago and it’s evident in just about everything this young talent does. Don’t tweak, get a taste of what to expect at our exclusive playlist above.