Harlem rap trio Ratking dropped a surprise album for free yesterday in the form of a BitTorrent Bundle, after wrapping a year on the road following the critical success of their album So It Goes. In a 7-track ode to the waning winter months, 700 Fill speaks to subzero temperatures in a sly nod to the down fill jackets that are reluctantly an outerwear staple. True to Ratking form, the surprise album is a portrait of NYC that teeters on recklessness, anchored by raw honesty; a dystopian nod to the concrete jungle’s brutal winter.
Recorded over six days last year, the album is street-level vision of the city with surges of clarity, calling on names in the city’s scene–Princess Nokia, Despot, Stickyboy, and more–to lend support and build visibility for the new generation of NY roots.
On the premiere of the new album, it was accurately described, “This is the New York as soon as you walk out of your doorstep.” 700 Fill leans on tracks like “Sticky Trap”–a solemn portrait of growing through scuffles in the police state city with the lyrics, “I be creeping through this city/ducking city traps.” Never afraid to experiment beyond their boom-bap roots, 700 Fill is also a snapshot of their boundary-void influences and fascinations, Ratking-ified. Stand-out track “Bethel” runs an ethereal, chanting loop that reads like a mantra, leading in with spoken audio samples before running through verses to stake the age-old battle to be one of the realest in the New York hustle.
“Flurry” starts out with a sample that sounds like it was taken in between studio cuts, “It’s freezing outside; it’s winter, b. So you’re gonna need that down goose whether you like it or not.” 700 Fill translates this notion into a soundtrack for the harshest months, translating the controlled-chaos of winter indoor living and effortlessly keeping their name on our radar before their next full release on XL Recordings.