Ratking So It Goes

On ‘So It Goes’, Harlems Ratking arrive with their debut full-length
album, bolstering a nascent XL hip hop roster that is already home to
Tyler, The Creator.

Led by 20-year-old Patrick “Wiki” Morales, a proudly self-proclaimed “upper middleclass” boy from New York’s Upper West Side, with a nasal flow that has elicited obvious

comparisons to Eminem, the group also includes MC Hak and producers Sporting Life and Ramon to complete a barely postteenage line-up who,

despite the hype, have only 2012’s patchy-at-best EP ‘Wiki93’ to show for their efforts. The breakout hit on that collection was Morales’s personal showcase, ‘Wikispeaks’.

Closing with the unconvincingly snarled couplet, “It’s about time time Wiki speaks / It’s about time Wiki freaks,” he announced his entrance by doing
little to dispel the notion that teen angst accounted for the bulk of Ratking’s collective worldview.

While their physical appearance has led to comparisons with indie crossover darlings Odd Future, the link doesn’t appear to extend beyond
hoodies and adolescence.

If the Wolf Gang burst on to the scene with a slightly juvenile manifesto (fuck everything), at least it was firm.

Ratking, on the other hand, don’t seem quite sure what they want to speak about. The indubitable technical quality of Wiki and Hak’s rhymes simply isn’t enough to carry Ratking, and the issues voiced and the scenes painted
over these 11 tracks seem either insignificant or disingenuous.

It’s hard to imagine that the murders, drugs and gangs on the somber
‘Snow Beach’ were felt too keenly by the son of a banker, while the
repeated cop references are straight out of Hip Hop For Dummies.

That’s not to say that the ad nauseum should be the preserve of the working
class, of course, but an attempt to address Ratking’s own world would surely come off as more authentic.

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