Ratking -So it goes
1 – (*) Opens with a statement that attacks the culture. Speaking about the climate that rap has become and where it should be going. Pushing into a pulsing drum beat with rapper Wiki killing on the mic. Then HAK working a weaving flow in and out the sample. Great way to open the LP.
2-(Canal) is a call to arms for inner city life. It’s an erratic and all over the place section but works for the hectic culture they came from and express in the song.
3-(Snow Beach) has a call and response like intro that breaks into a surreal almost up-tempo jazz transition. Where rapper Wiki breaks into a quasi story about looking down at NYU kids. Showing the frustration of growing up less advantaged in a city so cold. Content to have a North Face coat as a metaphor for armor to survive these harsh environments. It has a real haunting feel to it reminding me of a combination of Life is a bitch from Nas and a backdrop of something like pigeon from Cannibal Ox.
4-(So sick stories featuring King Krule) the lead single pushing their movement. It has every reason to be the one to share at the masses. It has everything that catches a listener’s ear. My only complaint might be the last part after the verses seems a little weird and out of place but that’s an opinion anyone could argue.
5- (Remove Ya) A anti authority expose that has a familiar sound sampling from Diplomats Heatmakers but speed up to even faster tempo. Speaking of themselves as mutts and out of place in the context of the city and its policy. Then breaks into what seems kind of like a subway lullaby.
6-(Eat) A slow moving track that opens with HAK singing showing both his ability and versatility. Then Wiki comes in with an autobiographical story of getting sick from stealing Oxycodone from his dad. It’s a real slow burner but really grows on you after all the chaos out the gate from the begging of the Lp.
7-(So it goes) is a hypnotizing song that pulls the listener in with biblical references and an uplifting perspective of life. Pushing itself along with sharp metaphors about life and the working class. Here is an example ‘’How can you buy, sell the sky, warmth of the land, spit where you want, nigga don’t give a damn, freshness of air, sparkle on the water, Eagles are our brothers, and flowers are our daughters’’ said HAK. It is really a show of a depth of a writer to write lines like these.
8-(Puerto Rican Judo featuring Wavy Spice) What I feel is the most out of place on the record. It has a weird bounce to it influenced by electronic and elements of Reggaeton. Honestly it’s my opinion but I’m really not a fan of it but I feel it might become a favorite among the culture it aims for.
9-(Protein) Imagine hopping between trains in the subway. This is what the track feels like the hyper movement of shuffling then in the slight background the live bands in the back of the station belting out a weird original. It has a great intro courtesy of ‘’ Ain’t been to church since back in the day, used to go to church back in the day, smacked and I’d pray, now I just laugh in dismay, the earth is fucked, the city is gone’’ said Wiki.
10-(Bug fights) Another Heatmakers influenced track that knocks. Utilizing chemistry between both friends to great balance. It’s a hype track about fighting. I imagine this would be great to see live.
11-(Take featuring Saloman Faye) Is a Call and response track that serves as a buffer to showcase Saloman Faye. Its not bad just not the best choice to close a Lp. Inside of the trembling 808 is a hidden track that works of the running theme inside of this album being ‘’Days work for a Days pay’’. Its save to say I would rather named the Lp that but that’s taster’s choice.
Ratking are a youthful revival of sorts to a dying market in New York hip-hop. They are bold, original, and have no interest in catering to anyone style. While I feel as artists they have a lot to grow on, as life experience will show any individual. I’m excited for the future of this group and where they can lead us into new territory’s NYC hip hop has long missed since the first emergence of Def Jux.
Review by Byrd Flew
Score 7 out of 10
Best Tracks Canal, Snow Beach, Eat