Seemingly spit out of a millennial meme generator, wifisfuneral—real name Isaiah Rivera—should not be a captivating presence in the rap world. Based on name alone, dude is seemingly the dictionary definition of the disposability of SoundCloud rap, but artists like Rivera have proven that there’s a sustainability and a genuine fresh take on rap within the dusty depths of the streaming service.
wifisfuneral made a name for himself with 2016’s Black Heart Revenge and has spent these last two years batting back claims from shitty critics like me about the viability of lo-fi noise rap and young kids slurring about Xanax. While wifi emerged out of this scene, he’s proven an ability to move past it, harnessing a sound that blends the emo leanings of a teen hero like Lil Peep with a more traditional rap flow that calls to mind some of the kids making waves up and down the California coast.
Perhaps this is why wifi has stood out in an increasingly crowded field: He’s synthesized the regionless, borderless world of the internet age from which he takes his name, while lacing it with a narcotically addictive flow and a distinct ear for melody that’s allowed him to develop while others stagnate. He solidified this vision with June’s Ethernet Vol. 1, a record with serious intent blended with playful ambition. Album standout “Genesis,” which Noisey is premiering the visuals for, is a pure distillation of what makes wifisfuneral such an appealing up-and-comer for teens that hate old people and old people that hate teens.
Over an easy, sparse Ronny J beat (Denzel Curry, XXXTentacion, Lil Pump), wifi—fresh off the heels of his XXL Freshmen cypher—sits in the groove’s pocket and waxes poetic about pills and lean. He sounds like a less broken Future, eyeing the slick road he’s rapidly barreling down but too numb to do anything about it. The video directed by LOUIEKNOWS does a perfect job summarizing wifi’s vision, blending trippy visuals with old-school graphics that have been commodified by the SoundCloud generation in a certainly ironic light, but imbued with enough gravitas to give cheesy PhotoShop backgrounds and exaggerated lightning strikes a new definition. “Genesis” is a blunt-laced celebration and warning of the things that keep us level by knocking us out, a drug drenched ode to rap in all of its manifold iterations.
Will Schube is a big fan of internet connections. Follow him on Twitter.