New hip-hop by Ratking, Nani Castle

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Still from Wikispeaks via YouTube.

I’ve been a super fan of New York City’s Ratking since stumbling upon a random blog post (Complex? Vice? Can’t remember.) that led me to XL Recordings, and the single, “646-704-2610,” last year. I was pretty enthralled with this video for “Wikispeaks” (featuring the spunky emcee, Wiki, who often refers to himself as a mutt– he’s half Puerto-Rican) because it just shows a bunch of kids walking through New York City while he spits fire:

“Damn I feel like Jay-Z in ’96
Man I feel like ODB in ’93
Am I even an ’04 Ye?”

Shortly thereafter, they released So It Goes (via Hot Charity) in 2014. There was just something REAL New York hip-hop kids about it. (Btw, if you haven’t heard “Remova Ya,” get on it, as it is the quintessential song about the NYPDs now defunct Stop-and-Frisk policy.)

“To the boys in blue
Never really liked you, rubbed me rude”

Well, they dropped some new tunes (!!!) via bit torrent this week. Grab 700 Fill here.

I like how So It Goes is described in the bundle: “an exhilarating and reckless lyrical portrait of a maybe-vanishing city; part Vonnegut, part Dipset, part Suicide.” Yeah, that’s putting it perfectly. Unlock the 700 Fill bundle to get 9 new tracks, instrumentals, and a short video from Ari Marcopoulos.

Speaking of young New Yorkers who rap, and are half Latino, Staten Island’s Nani Castle just dropped The Amethyst Tape. Thanks to Nati (conrazón) for putting me onto her.

Nani Castle
Nani Castle

Get to know more about the half Chilena, whose dad came to the States as an exile in the 70s, here via Remezcla. Warning: her stuff isn’t gentle and girly. It’s pretty POW!

“Welcome to my castle, Come into dungeon
Come inside, I wanna show you something.”

New album by Los Rakas to drop on Universal Musica!

No Tan ListoNews from Rakalandia!

Panama via Oakland, Calif, Latin hip-hop duo, Los Rakas have released the first single,No Tan Listo,” for their debut album with Universal Musica’s urban label, Machete Music. The record will drop on April 15. (Grab the single here.)

As someone who played a minuscule role in this band’s publicity efforts, I couldn’t be more proud:

(Watch an interview I scored for them on CNN on Español here: http://bit.ly/Nd4fpO)

I also scored this premiere for them in the now-defunct (*sad face*) AOL SPINNER.

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That was a tiny glimpse to the press this duo has been getting. Just do a search online and you’ll see tons of articles, especially about their upcoming shows at the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas. (And you can thank their publicist, Raka team member, Conrazón, for all of that good press!)

Also check out their collaboration with The Bots – “Spaceshippin’” – for the Converse Cons EP (also features my favorite NYC rap crew right now, Ratking) came out via VICE’s Noisey.  Download the song here.