OPEN SPACE: WifisFuneral
Hip hop saves lives.
When Isaiah Rivera, better known to rap lovers as WifisFuneral, was eight or nine years old he saw the “Mo Money Mo Problems” music video on TV and had a revelation. The young lad looked at his mother and said: “This is what I want to do, like, for the rest of my life.” His father, who wasn’t in his life, had been a freestyle battle rapper in the Bronx. “I used to be mad when he used to call my mom,” Wifi recalls, “cause we wouldn’t have shit to talk about.” He wrote his first sixteen as a kid and rapped it to his father over the phone. “I tried to use it as a gateway to get closer to him,” Wifi says. “But it didn’t work.” Fast forward a few years—Rivera and his mom relocated to Palm Beach, Florida. He chose the name WifisFuneral after his DJ’s best friend committed suicide. The Wifi part represented his global ambition: “I want the music to be worldwide. I just want people everywhere to listen to it.” After some close calls with drugs—”I went to the emergency like four times in like a year,” he reveals—Wifi locked in on music, releasing his When Hell Falls project in late January to great acclaim. But please don’t call him a “Soundcloud rapper.” Wifi finds the term disrespectful. “How the fuck you gon’ put me in this fuckin’ category?” Wifi asks. The artists who inspired him to rap include MF Doom, Lil Wayne, and Eminem. In this raw, uncensored Open Space interview Wifi reveals the name of his next project, 27 Club. “I’ve been contemplating this project for like two years,” he says. “Being big enough as if I died at 27. As big as Jimi Hendrix, as big as Kurt Cobain.”