At Long Last A$AP: The Mob leader and Harlem style icon opens up about his upbringing, the new NYC sound and the legacy of A$AP Yams.
Among the young torchbearers of NYC’s prestigious rapping tradition, A$AP Rocky’s light shines the brightest. Stepping on to the scene with a fully-formed vision and a mouth full of gold, the charismatic MC’s rapid ascent to style icon has made him the face of Harlem hip hop in the post-Dipset era. The A$AP star began to rise in the crucial year of 2011, which saw seminal free-of-charge releases by The Weeknd, Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, all of which pointed r&b and hip hop into new directions. A standout mixtape even amongst competition this strong, the mixture of A$AP Rocky’s torn personality, ranging from trademark pretty boy tales to achingly detailed insights, with ethereal productions by the likes of Clams Casino created an atmosphere rarely heard on any hip hop album before. Hot on the heels of Live.Love.A$AP, Pretty Flacko kept his cool, even after signing an intimidatingly remunerated contract for his anticipated major debut Long.Live.A$AP. And while a large part of the scene seemed anxious to see him fall short off all self-imposed expectations, he hit them with Goldie. And Fuckin’ Problems. And 1Train. Basically every single sureshot he’s been wisely holding back for his first proper studio full-length. His sophomore album At.Long.Last.A$AP further emancipated Rocky from the cloud rap niche, laying focus on the psychedelic aspects of his music, without ever neglecting the strong Southern influence in his flamboyant stories of global recognition and blunted paranoia. The pretty boy swag continues.