REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

Ratking Go On The Attack In A Surprising Way

Old Subbacultcha

Old Subbacultcha

This is a grimy attack from the NYC underground and representing their city in a way only Ratking can on their debut album ‘So It Goes.’

10149957_10151949218437343_1507617649_nRatking - So It Goes (XL Recordings/Hot Charity) 8/10

New York City’s Ratking are made up of rappers Wiki and MC Hak, otherwise known as biting your face off because they‘re more than in your face, producer Sporting Life and ‘visual expert’ Ramon. There’s an element of early ‘Boy In Da Corner’ era Dizzee meets early ‘Slim Shady LP’ era Eminem on the opening track of Ratkings debut album ‘So It Goes’, ‘*RATKING’ particularly from their leader Wiki, who spits out in almost his own ’A Clockwork Orange’ style language at times. There’s the cut up techno of ‘Canal’, then there’s the jazzy laid back thrills of ‘Snow Beach’ is the kind of track Eminem probably wishes he could make - laid back but still sounding edgy and with an element of rawness. Its tracks like these on Ratkings debut album ‘So It Goes‘, as well as the loose funk of ‘So Sick Stories’ which showcases Wiki and MC Haks unique storytelling ways, along with some helpful crooning from King Krule, and the track has elements of British hip hop crew Triple Darkness on it too, that show how far Ratking have come since they came racing out the traps with their debut EP ’Wiki93 EP’ in 2012, which was like a big sharp stick piercing the bloated corpse of the music industry and hip hop in particular and kicking it into some rat filled sewer in the process. Ratking have been building from there ever since deep in the underground and have come up with this raw yet surprisingly complex album, ‘So It Goes‘ in the process. But since Ratkings ’Wiki93 EP’ in 2012 there seems to have been a wave of hip hop artists on both sides of the Atlantic, that have tried to do their own thing, releasing mixtapes, album, projects or whatever, and to say what they wanted to say and in their own style. There was of course Kendrick Lamars album ’Good Kid, Maad City’ that came out at the same time and then there was Death Grips dark n death hop that has been unrelenting and uncompromising to say the least. Even Kanye West went even darker and err twisteder on ’Yeezus’. Then over here Krept and Konan’s mixtape ’Young Kings’ last year gate crashed the charts as has Ghetts recent uncompromising and exciting debut album ’Rebel With A Cause’ which gate crashed the charts, also there’s been Cashtastic’s impressive mixtape ’Alarm Clock.’ It’s the fact that they don’t sound the same but are trying to do their own thing and take hip hop in a new and exciting direction, without having some record company executive breathing down their necks, and maybe gate crashing the charts in the process. Ratking probably couldn’t careless about the charts, and on ’So It Goes’ there’s more meat on it bones than on their raw ’Wiki93 EP.’ As well as the aforementioned tracks on ’So It Goes’, there’s also the brilliantly titled ’Puerto Rican Judo’, which with its speedy and funky production sounds like it could almost be some low-key or underground version of Sugarhill Gang at times, especially when Wavy Spice joins in - think Nicki Minaj when she stole show on Kanye’s ’Monster.’ There’s also an element of ’Paul’s Boutique’ era Beastie Boys, fittingly since both Ratking and Beastie Boys are from the same area of New York, to some of the cut up production on ’Canal.’ But I can’t emphasise enough about the aforementioned opening track ’*RATKING.’ Imagine if early era Eminem collaborated with early era Dizzee Rascal, well ’*RATKING’ goes some way to make that realistic because that’s what it sounds like, raw and fresh, before both Eminem and Dizzee got bloated and complacent in recent years. But hopefully Wiki and MC Hak and Ratking in general can avoid and remain fresh and vital, and very raw even when they on more laid back moments. The album is challenging at times, especially the harsher sounding beats and there’s a steady stream of consciousness from both Wiki and MC Hak which you have to get your head around at times. At times, with Wiki in particular, he had his almost impenetrable language like on the stop - start speediness of ’Remove Ya’ which is addictive, and the psychedelic nursery rhymes of ’Eat’, the swirling loops and trippy beats are delicious when they’re wrapped around Wiki’s lucid words. But then there’s the strained, broken, and slightly warped at times soul of the title track, which is as pretty damn gorgeous as Ratking get. ‘Used to go to church back in the day, sat and I pray, now I just laugh in dismay the Earth is fucked the city is gone’, the above lyric from Wiki on the beat pummelling ’Protein’ give you a brief idea as to who Ratking are, and the disillusioned underground people in New York City that they represent. Ratking have plenty of things they want to tell us and they want to tell us it in their own way, and listening to them on their debut album ’So It Goes’ will throw up some surprises along the way especially for those that heard them on their ’Wiki93 EP.’ Thanks to Patrick at Technique PR