A$AP Rocky has been pegged as hip-hop’s next big thing. That phrase might get attached to someone (e.g. Drake, Wiz Khalifa) or some group (see: OFWGKTA) every few months, but A$AP is the first “next big thing” to come out of New York in a while.
No offense to French Montana, Fred the Godson or anyone else, but very few up-and-coming New York rappers have garnered as much love on both hip-hop and alternative blogs. And they certainly haven’t been featured in The New York Times — especially with just a handful of songs.
When MTV News caught up with A$AP Rocky in New York’s Lower East Side, he said he had his sights focused on bigger things than the Big Apple.
“I live here, and New York raised me, New York made me, so at the end of the day, it’s all love for New York. But I appeal to everybody. I want to appeal to people in West Bumblef—, Germany,” A$AP said. “That’s what it’s all about. I can appeal to anybody. Anybody that was raised in poverty, middle class, low middle class, day-to-day regular things, they can relegate to me, because I speak that trill sh–.”
A$AP Rocky — born Rakim Mayers — said he started rapping at age 8 but didn’t really start taking it seriously until his late teens/ early 20s. The Harlem MC said, at first, he didn’t know if he was Kanye West, Kid Cudi or what, but once he found himself artistically, other people started to really appreciate his work.
He also credited his three main producers — ASAP Ty Beats, SpaceGhostPurpp and Clams Casino — with developing his sound. Ty Beats has produced Rocky’s two most recognizable songs: “Purple Swag,” a sizzurpy ode to Houston hip-hop, and the boastful, melodic “Peso.” Clams Casino rose to fame producing for Lil B the Based God, and Miami’s SpaceGhostPurpp, owner of hip-hop’s best name, is the producer Rocky goes to for his “trill sh–.”
“I think my sound is a sound that was inspired by all hip-hop from different regions, cultures [and] times,” he said. “My sound is everything mixed into one. It’s the future. Basically, you don’t have to be limited anymore, and you can sound how you want to sound. That’s natural for us.”
“A$AP” is an acronym and almost a surname adopted by Rocky’s crew, and he said it can mean a variety of things, from Always Strive and Prosper to Assassinating Snitches and Police, but Rocky liked Acronym Symbolizing Any Purpose.
While most people wait on the release of his debut mixtape, Live. Love. A$AP, on Halloween, he’s already been added to Drake’s Club Paradise Tour. Rocky said he was honored by a co-sign, not only because it was Drake, but because he truly respected the Toronto MC.
“He’s in a position to where if he co-signs somebody, it’s valid, and he’s a real lyricist, and he’s got good taste. I mean, look at his music. Therefore, when he comes to listen to people like me and he gets inspired and then wants to take us out on tour, it just shows you he’s a real dude.”
Have you checked out A$AP Rocky yet? Share your thoughts on the new MC in the comments!