“i be that pretty motherfucka, harlem’s what i’m repping, tell them quit your bitchin’ we gon’ make it in a second…”. and with those simple, effective and slightly hilarious words i began my week-long quest to learn and embrace all that is asap rocky. the facts seem simple. young, charismatic harlem mc creates waves on the web with a few leaked tracks, delivers a raucous set and (potentially staged) violent temper tantrum at his cmj showcase, squashes a supposed beef with west coast weirdos odd future, and signs a deal with sony records worth a reported 3 million. not bad for a kid with one proper mixtape under his belt.
a month ago i wondered what clams casino’s beats might sound like if someone with command of his craft took the mic and spit over them. rocky fits the bill. he rides casino’s trippy, airy instrumentals like a cloud of smoke drifting, ducking and wiggling through the crowded spaces of the room. he sounds like he might be from houston or atlanta, and his focus is aimed squarely at living a lifestyle he simply refers to as “trill”. it’s a frame of mind, a state of being, maybe a way to make a buck?
call it what you want, this kids future is neon bright. i hear shades of wiz khalifa in rocky’s delivery. there’s a laid back relaxation in his cadence. there’s a cool confidence in the way he laces clams casino’s tripped out landscapes. but in contrast to wiz, there’s a mean streak here that reminds me rocky is indeed one of harlem’s finest. check out his wild livelovea$ap mixtape, hosted all over the net for free. it’s a fantastic glimpse into the life of a quickly rising star.