Headliner: A$AP Rocky
Representing: Harlem, New York
Real Spit: A$AP Rocky is having the time of his life, and he wants you to join him. “I just want people to have fun again; people don’t know how to have fun,” the Harlem, New York, rapper recently told Mixtape Daily.
“It’s all about mean-mugging and ballin’ and bottle poppin,’ and sh–. I feel like we can just have brew, cigarettes and some bad bitches and have a good time,” he theorized about the current hip-hop landscape. “We don’t really need all that other fancy sh– because that doesn’t happen every day in real life.”
And with that notion, Rocky’s first mixtape, Live.Love.A$AP, was birthed. Noted for his Southern approach to hip-hop, the NYC-bred Rocky sets the record straight on the tape’s opener, “Palace.” On the operatic slow-roller, Rocky pays homage to rap from other regions while looking to carve his own identity. “Don’t remember me as a wannabe, New Orleans n—a/ Slash lean sipper, Tennessee n—a/ Nah, influenced by Houston, hear it in my music/ A trill n—a to the truest, show you how to do this.”
His breakout single, “Peso,” appears on his debut tape, but Rock’s fan-favorite
“Purple Swag” has been replaced with a remix that features producer/rapper Spaceghost Purrp and A$AP Nast adding verses. The Clams Casino-produced “Wassup,” melodic and menacing at once, is a sleepy track with a rolling bass, and it finds the newly crowned N.Y. prince putting it down for his hometown. “I be that pretty mother—-er, Harlem’s what I’m reppin’,” he spits, recycling the quotable line from “Peso.”
The A$AP circle is tight-knit, so features from outsiders are kept to a minimum, though Schoolboy Q’s contribution on “Brand New Guy” is clearly welcome. The Black Hippy MC steals the show, spitting murder and watching Netflix on the couch with his rival’s girlfriend. It’s quite the comedy.
A$AP Rocky’s out-of-town influence is present throughout: “Trilla” is a bluesy, Deep South affair with a hint of Midwestern Bone Thugs-style vocals, while “Get Lit” is a perfectly chopped and screwed Texas throwback. It may not be New York, but it most certainly is fun.
Joints to Check For
» “Palace” – “That’s the first track off of Live.Love.A$AP; it’s produced by Clams Casino. I think it’s one of the hardest tracks on the whole project.
» “Bass” – “It’s just one of those hard-hitting bangers. I mean, when that track comes on, it’s like mayhem; it’s just like ‘Wow.’ ”
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