A$AP Rocky is undoubtedly one of the most relevant rappers right now. With his A$AP Mob movement evolving into a worldwide fan-run movement, him and his crew are slowly taking over New York hip-hop.
I’ve seen A$AP Rocky twice, once at a festival last year and also in May at the Brixton Academy, London. There are many likeable aspects of Rocky: he’s a great performer, he is confident with whatever he does, he is subtly cocky, he’s the most fashionable man in hip-hop and he is a versatile rapper that shows influences of different types of hip-hop from across the US.
A$AP Rocky first came about when he released “Peso”, his first single. Who was the first to co-sign him and believe him? Drake. Don’t believe me? Check the link below:
But yeah, coming back to it – “Peso” was different, nobody had really heard anything like that before. It shocked the rap game and shocked competing rappers. Then, once Drake had co-signed him, he asked him to go on the first leg of the Club Paradise Tour; this was at the point LiveLoveA$AP was released. The mixtape actually took a while to pick up, because if you see in the link above, he didn’t have anyone. It was a group of guys from Harlem doing their thing and trying their hardest to reach the ears of others. That mixtape just exemplifies Rocky’s talent though, he may not be the best lyricist, but he can flow well. Really well.
Then Rocky moved on to releasing an A$AP Mob mixtape, which was when he previewed his associates. When A$AP Rocky signed to Sony, he said that with that deal, he wanted his own sub-label (A$AP Worldwide), where he could sign all of his affiliates, which he did. So, out came the tape. We were introduced to close friends like A$AP Ferg, A$AP Twelvyy, A$AP Nast and others. That’s where A$AP Ferg really picked up, from the track he has on there named “Work” which has really picked up now and was the lead single for his debut album Trap Lord. My favourite songs from that tape would probably be: “Thuggin’ Noise”, “Persian Wine”, “Full Metal Jacket”, “Y.N.R.E”, “Work” and “Choppas On Deck”. The production is well put together and there are some good tracks on there; however, I think that they could’ve done a lot better. Hopefully the next Mob mixtape will outdo this. It’s meant to be coming this month, so keep your eyes out.
A$AP Rocky’s debut album, LONG.LIVE.A$AP, didn’t sell a huge amount, but that’s beyond the point, it was a new rapper’s debut album and it was a success. Why? Because there were certified hits on there: “Goldie” was a huge hit, “F**kin Problem”, “Wild For The Night”. But many tracks impressed, especially “1Train”, which gives extremely vivid reminiscence of a 90’s posse cut. It was magic. Hit-Boy did his thing on the production and all the featured artists did their thing on the verses – Rocky had fellow New York natives Action Bronson and Joey Bada$$, along with Kendrick Lamar, Yelawolf, Danny Brown and Big KRIT grace the cut. Another track that I really like from the tape is “Suddenly”, which Rocky proclaims is the first track he’s produced by himself and props to him, it’s hot.
Something that I haven’t mentioned already, A$AP Rocky is a great freestyler, probably my favourite freestyler in the rap industry. He blows my mind, sometimes he messes up, but that’s what you do when you’re not spitting writtens on every beat dropped by a radio DJ. Wanna check it out? Just search ‘A$AP Rocky freestyle’ into YouTube and watch any one, they’re all impressive. Especially the Funkmaster Flex and Westwood ones.
A$AP Rocky is a likeable artist, if you’re into hip-hop properly, you’ll appreciate him. Let’s dismiss the hipster fans for a second and just focus on the fans that would go and see him in a concert (like myself). Excuse me venting, it seems to be a habit on this blog.
His features recently have been impressive so I’m excited to see what he can do in the future.
Also, if you haven’t already, check out A$AP Ferg’s new album Trap Lord, if you just want the best songs from the album, listen to: “Murda Something”, “Shabba”, “Hood Pope” and “Lord”.