Ratking - So It Goes

Incredibly daring hip-hop that isn’t trying to impress, but does so anyway.

A lot of albums sound like they come from New York City, but fewer sound like they are New York City. Ratking’s debut album, ‘So It Goes’, doesn’t simply embody the city that it’s from, it sounds like a gritty and fully-formed manifestation of the city in sound.

Evolving from their EP ‘Wiki93’, this full-length debut feels like more of a collective effort. All members of the avant-rap outfit play a bigger role, with Wiki now acting as more of a co-star to Hak. Both of their malleable flows glide uneasily above Sporting Life and guest Ramon’s opaque production. Coarse with more than just mindless anarchy on the mind, there’s a message to decode. ‘So It Goes’ is incredibly daring hip-hop that isn’t trying to impress, but does so anyway.

Their hope for humanity is gone, which is especially bleak considering their young age. “The earth is fucked, the city is gone” Wiki mutters at the beginning of ‘Protein’, as if to further spread his distorted pessimism. A general sense of abandonment from the rest of the world permeates the record, striking with both its sound and lyricism. Their sound borrows heavily from the early ‘90s hardcore that New York birthed, and is about as inviting as the more intense side of it too. Beastie Boys without a sense of humour if you will.

The focus occasionally drifts, and it’s hard to interpret everything that’s said, even if it’s always easy to appreciate. Taken as a whole it’s hard to digest. However, ‘So It Goes’ still remains an incredibly impressive display. There aren’t any others that sound like Ratking, and there’s still that incessant glimmer that implies they’re destined for even better. As a starting point, ‘So It Goes’ is a damn fine one.

Tags: Reviews, Album Reviews

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