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Ithaca Rap Duo Wackgenius Drops New Album

Key Points:

  • Wackgenius is a local Ithaca rap duo comprised of Isaiah Raps and Damiano the Don
  • Their latest project, Wackgenius 2, is out on most music streaming services and online storefronts.
  • The project was released while Damiano was studying abroad in London.

Wackgenius is a rap duo comprised of Ithaca College students Isaiah “Isaiah Raps” Horton and Damiano “The Don” Malvasio. Their latest project, Wackgenius 2, hit Soundcloud on February 28th and released on other streaming services shortly after, from Apple Music to Spotify to iTunes.

Damiano, left, and Isaiah, right, posing with DRAM before his performance at Ithaca College

The Story of Wackgenius

Wackgenius isn’t intended to be “wack”, but the wack is a key part of the genius, as it were.

The “wack” half of Wackgenius is Isaiah Raps, who intended to drop a mixtape in 2015 called “This S*it Wack” but ended up cancelling the project. The “genius” half is Damiano the Don, who also goes by the name The Miserable Genius. Together, they formed a duo which focused on combining their strengths and filling in for each other’s weaknesses, allowing for a type of sound and style that neither could achieve on their own.

“I feel like Wackgenius is everything that we find in each other,” Isaiah explains. “It’s two black men in a PWI finding themselves.”

After months of work, their self-titled mixtape was made available for download on July 22nd, 2016, featuring tracks such as the titular “Wack Genius”, “Enemies”, and “Wackarious”. Then, in early 2017, they opened up a performance by DRAM in Ithaca and, according to some, were the highlight of the night.

A number of performances on and off of Ithaca’s campus led to further popularity, with both members of their collective unit gaining a name for themselves as more and more people became aware of their music.

The cover for Wackgenius’ new project is comprised of everything the group has done leading up to the album’s release.

The Album

Despite being a notably larger project than the first tape, most of Wackgenius 2 was recorded in a single day. Damiano was set to study abroad in London, and working long-distance on a record would make things extremely difficult. As such, most of the album needed to be recorded before Damiano left.

“We met up at 7PM and we went to sleep at 7AM, and we finished 90% of this project that day before he left to London,” Isaiah said. “And that was amazing.”

The record was also a massive learning experience for Isaiah, who largely produced and made beats for the project under the pseudonym “Will Farrell”.

“It was a real journey, to be honest,” Isaiah said. “It’s making me hopeful because people are really liking it and I can already see where I can do better.”

Wackgenius 2 is available on SoundCloud, Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, and the Wackgenius website.

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