Label: A$AP Worldwide/Polo Grounds/RCA
From: Harlem, New York
Active Since: 2007
Latest Release: Long. Live. ASAP
Recent Single: "Wild For The Night" f/ Skrillex & Birdy Nam Nam
We were so excited when A$AP Rocky first hit the scene with “Purple Swag” and “Pe$o” in 2011. Great music, great songs, great videos. He had the vision, the aesthetic, the look, the charisma, the rhymes—the full package to achieve rap superstardom.
Sure enough, his debut mixtape, Live. Love. ASAP, delivered on the promise, and his first full album, Long. Live. ASAP hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200. Yet, somehow, it’s hard to escape the feeling that Rocky has underperformed. We’ve never questioned his microphone technique. His flow is smooth as purple syrup pouring into a Sprite bottle, the beats he chooses, state-of-the-art.
What’s troubling about Rocky is that, despite releasing an all-around solid album, he wasn’t able to expand his scope. Effortless stardom isn’t an excuse for passivity. He needs to challenge himself, and make music that goes beyond the magic of those first early singles.
Rocky’s rhymes are consistently good, but never yet great. He needs to drop our jaws with a blackout verse. Spit some shit like we’ve never heard before. He’s definitely a star. He’s done everything right so far. But it would suck to think he’s already reached his ceiling. —Insanul Ahmed
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