There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
The only New York that matters is the one you create in your head, and if you’re a hip-hop autodidact, the most useful construction material is an album like Ratking’s So It Goes. Loud by nature, socially conscious by birthright, and exquisitely anxious by default, it extends from multiple familiar traditions. Enamored with sidewalk detail, brimming with verbal juice, and engineered to be sonically of-the-moment (producer Sporting Life knows haze and thump in equal parts), it evokes a city full of pissed kids and rich-people shit. Somehow there’s uplift everywhere, though: “Snow Beach” and “Puerto Rican Judo” have identifiable veins of boom-bap energy, and confrontational digi-bass jams like “Protein” and “Remove Ya” are built to pull crowds along, not pummel them. There’s urban paranoia, too, but it’s a shared tension, not an isolating one, especially on “So Sick Stories,” which deploys hip Brit baritone King Krule for a cameo. Most importantly rappers Wiki (the fast one) and Hak (the weird enunciator) move among it all not as scolds, but as expounders. Their New York is yours, but only as much as you want it to be. Ratking performs with Show Me the Body and Sir E.U at 9 p.m. at DC9, 1940 9th St. NW. $12. (202) 483-5000. dcnine.com.