It goes without saying that we live in an era in which rap music is heavily glamorised. It’s also nothing new to see it associated with the new wave of fashion. It can often seem like a lot of rappers choose their craft because of the celebrity status and designer clothes involved rather, than a love of the music. Hailing from uptown Manhattan, NYC, RatKing defy the modern day rap stereotypes. Hak, Wiki and Sporting Life are a trio at the forefront of a new and refreshing wave of rappers currently taking over with their gritty, lyrical rhymes and abrasive beats.
In the same way that UK rappers often struggle to gain reparability across the pond, you don’t often hear of American rappers jumping on tracks with UK artists. However RatKing quickly caught the attention of South London’s King Krule, meeting in 2012 before working on a number of tracks including a Wiki verse on a remix of ‘Neptune Estate’ with Lucki Eck$. Wiki also linked up with the self-proclaimed King of London, Skepta, for the remix of ‘That’s Not Me’, causing a serious stir on the internet.
Being from Manhattan, these city kids naturally look for an escape from the intense life in the centre of New York. Close friend Andrew spent some time on the west side of the Hudson River with the boys to take some shots of them hanging out.
This is an extract from the Autumn/Winter14 Issue of Viper Magazine. Read more from the magazine here. Buy physical and digital copies here.
Photos by Andrew Kass
Words by Ali Arrowsmith