Album: Black Diamond EP
Artist: Sporting Life (feat. MIKE, Wiki)
Label: R&S Records
Non-Airable Track: Yes
Description: The essence of New York collective, Ratking, is back here in full force. Crux is a single from producer Sporting Life with verses from co-Ratking member, Wiki, and underground up-and-comer, MIKE. This is Sporting Life and Wiki’s first collaboration in a while and Sport’s airy beats were always a perfect match for Wiki’s high pitched bars.
Gone have the ways of Ratking’s heavy experimental work in which young Wiki would rap so fast, so New York, it was often hard to hear what he was saying. Wiki has definitely honed in on his craft these past few years. More enunciation, a lot smoother, and generally more coherent raps works perfectly with Sports’ heavy and slow production on this track. Wiki is coming off his effervescent album, No Mountains in Manhattan, an ode to the Lower East Side. Wiki doesn’t stray from his New York roots in this single either and his delivery is solid and vivid. As for MIKE, the brutally honest rapper from the sLums collective, sounds confidant yet melancholic; the same delivery in which enamored me when I first heard him in sLums. If it’s not broken don’t fix it. MIKE has worked with the likes of Earl Sweatshirt and the Solange producer ensemble, Standing on the Corner, and he is truly something special.
Crux embodies its title so perfectly, the hardest part of a mountain climb, this track sounds like struggle. The good kind, in which you feel whole and accomplished at the end of. Standing at the top of a mountain, arms up, banging your head at Wiki and MIKE’s raps. This sample heavy, glitched, production feels like triumph. This is new-New York. Ratking forever.
Sounds Like: Earl Sweatshirt, Ratking
Reviewer’s Name: Pryce Batey
Date of Review: 10/5/19