RATKING –New York’s rising underground hip-hop group– takes a victory lap for their recently released and well-received debut album, So It Goes, with the new video for their single “Canal.” From the very first shot, RATKING shows us a familiar New York draped in the typical graffiti and neon light. The sound, however, is a world of its own. Devoid of the traditional boom-bap beats that defined New York hip-hop for decades, RATKING instead couches the song’s gritty rhymes– You best stop my way / On the West side highway / Or get high my way / Hanging out the left side of a skyscrape– in the organized chaos of cut-up vocal samples and familiarly trappy beats .
“Canal” is the result of the group’s two members: Wiki and Hak. Hak –a Harlem native– is no stranger to New York hip-hop having shared a neighborhood legacy with powerhouses like RZA. But Wiki’s background –a youth spent in the Upper West Side– is more distinct, far from the neighborhoods traditionally associated with the city’s hip-hop history. But that hasn’t stopped many of New York’s hip-hop royalty from blessing RATKING. Famed lyricist and Queens hip-hop figurehead Despot describes their new album as “the first rap album in a long time that conjured some real NYC nostalgia and tangible memories of growing up here.”
Supported by the strength of the XL label, RATKING’s “Canal” video releases to a city ready for a new tradition. And with lyrics as hard as theirs, RATKING is poised to create it.