Artist Profile – ASAP Rocky

“I’m camo down to my boxers, gold teeth, a bathing ape
It’s animals in my projects like monkeys, orangutans
Banana clip on that chopper, I hold heat, bangers bang
(Let Chiquita speak) Let it keep the peace that Lil B, brrrangadang”

Originally, this post was supposed to be about the whole A$AP movement as a whole, but I’d rather just talk about the only one that’s truly relevant, which would be Rocky.

Hailing from Harlem, NY, your initial reaction to their style of music would be a side eye, just because listening to him, you’d expect him to be from the South or even the West Coast. Like SpaceGhostPurrp, the music is heavily influenced on a slowed down flow, blended in with chopped and screwed. That’s the main thing that I noticed, and then when I found out he was from New York, I said to myself “For real?!” I guess everyone’s switching it up these days, and experimenting no matter which part of the country you’re from (speaking for the United States, not necessarily Canada).

He does mention in the first song off of his 2nd mixtape LiveLoveA$AP (You can also find the 1st one by clicking the same link) that his music is influenced by the classic Texas style which is slowed down, and chopped and screwed, so at least he does recognize and pay homage to the ones that came before him.

“Influenced by Houston, hear it in my music
A trill nigga to the truest, show you how to do this”

Believe me when I said that I thought that the ASAP & Raider Klan groups were essentially the same thing because of their heavy similarities, and if you’re not someone who’s following both of them intently, then it is very easy to misinterpret the two, but in some way, they do have their own styles to them.

Rocky’s rise to success has been insane, because I literally didn’t hear about him until my friend @JadalynStarr sent me a video of one of his songs, Purple Swag, and I will admit that it was very catchy because of the funky style, and the approach was relaxed and it flowed well. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that he’s a great rapper, because in my opinion, he’s essentially a product of good beats. He’s had good verses that I’ve heard on other mixtapes (Smoke DZA’s Rolling Stoned & ScHoolboy Q’s HnC for examples), but I think that he has some potential. This new generation of younger rappers like to rap about swag a lot, and it shows that that’s what’s hip, and popular (Thank You Lil B).

Although, when I first heard him rap, and after listening to a couple of songs, I could have sworn if I didn’t see his face, I would have told you that I was listening to Wiz Khalifa. 100% and I would have been confident about my answer too. They sound very similar because of the content they rap about & similarities in flow. He’s stated that people think that he sounds like Kanye West (although, I don’t hear that), Lil B, and the aforementioned Wiz Khalifa, so it does make it difficult for one to NOT compare him to other rappers.

I think that’s been the issue I’ve had with younger rappers. Most of them feed off of the other’s flow, but at the same time, it’s been that way since the days of Wu Tang, Biggie, Nas, Jay Z, and I can go on and on, but the difference was that they had their own unique styles. Nowadays, rappers are essentially talking about the same thing, wearing the same clothes, and it’s just over-saturated.

Rocky is young, only has out 2 mixtapes (He’s also going to be performing in Toronto on the 27th of January, so that should be crazy. Not sure if I’m attending however), but is well on his way to becoming something big and making A$AP a big movement, similar to what Wiz did for Taylor Gang and what Tyler, the Creator did for Odd Future. It’s just one after the other, but the trend’s been working, so why stop something that’s been working? He has worked with great producers, my only issue is can he improve his delivery in his rhymes, and go beyond just talking about weed/drugs/alcohol/swag, because it’s pretty much the same repetitive stuff we hear elsewhere. But that’s just me, and I’m sure a lot of people feel the same way. Be sure to hear more from him down the way this year and future years, but for now

That’s My Word & It STiXX

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