In the last few years, Ratking have cemented themselves as one of the greatest rap groups to have crawled from New York. With a raw and unique sound that captured the semantics of the city's streets, subway lines, roaming police sirens, and block parties, the three-piece group made up of rappers Wiki and Hak, and producer-rapper Sporting Life had the rare ability of being able to present familiar suburban landscapes in a fresh and new way. We were so infatuated with their debut full-length album that we placed it in the coveted number one spot of our best albums of 2014 list. According to a recent interview though, the Ratking we have grown to know and love has broken up.
Speaking to i-D, Hak confirms that he's left the group to pursue his own solo project, which was released yesterday. "It's all love that I project towards them", he continued, "but I just felt like I wasn't being treated nicely to keep it in a hunnid, they didn't see me for me."
For fans of Ratking, the news shouldn't come as a surprise. Both other members released solo albums last year, with Sporting Life releasing the first record from a deal with R&S Records and Wiki putting out his debut through Letter Racer. A rep for Ratking has since confirmed to XXL Magazine that the group haven't broken up, but will be continuing without Hak. Yet despite the fact that the group may continue in some form, it's hard not to feel disappointed since it was the coalescence of the group's three members that ultimately lay at the core of their distinctive and atmospheric sound. Don't believe us? Here's what former Noisey editor Sam Wolfson had to say about them for Noisey back in 2014.
"So many great records are born from the tension between the principle players—the unease between Marr and Morrissey, Pete and Carl, Dizzee and Wiley has led to some of the most spectacular collaborations of all time. With Ratking too, there’s a version of that, Wiki basically lives life by the seat of his pants, so even his most carefully considered verses feel wild and off-kilter. Sport is a statistics-obsessed neat freak who makes the most outlandish production through meticulous tinkering and then there's Hak, a mild-mannered New England art student who only gave rapping a go because Wiki persuaded him to."
Watch "Aura," the new video from Hak, below: