• Courtesy of Ratking’s Facebook page
  • Ratking

New York City hip-hop group Ratking put on one of my favorite performances of the year at Lincoln Hall back in March. I’ve had my eye on the band since it linked with XL imprint Hot Charity, which signed Willis Earl Beal after my 2011 B Side feature came out, and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Ratking bring its gnarly, chest-thumping sound to a handful of intimate venues during the past few years. When I first saw Ratking play a north-side DIY venue a couple years ago the group shortened the power four times during its set; it probably didn’t help that Ratking required extra juice so it could hook up a projector to show a buddy playing what appeared to be Grand Theft Auto. Granted, the video game images swallowing the stage made the group’s set feel bigger.

Ratking last came to town a few days after releasing an EP called 700-Fill. On some of my favorite cuts from the EP, including today’s 12 O’Clock Track, “Eternal Reveal,” Ratking smoothes out the rougher edges of its tectonic sound and injects it with an illustrious somberness. I vaguely remember the hair on my arms standing on end when Ratking played a few of the 700-Fill songs, and it helped drive me further towards the stage. In no time I found myself moshing in the middle of the crowd, an activity I hadn’t participated in . . . well, I’ve forgotten how long it had been.

Ratking headlines a great hip-hop show at Empty Bottle tomorrow night. Fat Tony and Antwon open, and tickets are $3 with an RSVP (it’s $10 otherwise). Until tomorrow give “Eternal Reveal” a spin.