From: Harlem, NY
Label: A$AP Worldwide
The major gripe against Harlem's A$AP Mob since their rise in 2011 has been their eschewal of the gritty New York sound of the 1990s. A$AP Rocky's style has obvious roots in UGK and southern rap while A$AP Ferg's distinctive chanting claims the term "trap music." That's why A$AP Nast is a breath of fresh air. (Or, being that we're talking about New York, not so fresh.)
This year, A$AP Mob is looking to drop their second album as a collective, Lords. The lead single "Trillmatic" is helmed by Nast and features a guest verse from gritty '90s rap stalwart Method Man. The song, accompanied by its trippy video, takes rap fans back to a time when New York was the epicenter of hip-hop.
Up until the release of "Trillmatic," Nast has been just another face in the A$AP crowd. But the same could be said for A$AP Ferg before the release of the first Mob album, Lords Never Worry, which featured his breakout single, "Work." The same formula used to push Ferg into the forefront with the first Mob project could work for Nast in 2014. — Elva Aguilar