The 25 Best Songs of 2011

6. A$AP Rocky "Peso"

After he piqued the internet's interest with "Purple Swag," A$AP Rocky's critics tried to write him off as a one-trick hipster gimmick drowning in a sea of H-Town idolatry. Luckily Harlem's three-million-dollar man had "Peso" up his sleeve, an undeniable paper chase anthem that secured his status as the new darling of NYC rap. Over a spooky, chopped-and-screwed S.O.S.-Band break, A$AP nonchalantly announces his arrival with the year's most effective opening line: "I be that pretty motherfucker/Harlem's what I'm reppin'." His nimble flow is an irreverent departure for New York hip-hop, more focused on projecting his brazen attitude than constructing clever punchlines, but there's no mistaking his flashy, drug-funded confidence as anything but Uptown to the core. It's been so long since the Big Apple had a sound of its own—who says A$AP's creative concoction can't be the future?

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