Welcome to our latest series called Discography Autopsy, where I, yours truly, take a deep dive into artists’ musical discography and give you a guide on how to navigate this particular world of music. Each week will feature a different artist from a new part of the globe who has music that you need to discover and a knack for changing the creative art space.
This week, we take a look at none other than fashion and rap music trailblazer A$AP Rocky. This psychedelic-loving, suit-wearing, Rihanna-adoring rapper is the most successful member of the A$AP Mob. The creative collective has given us a ridiculous amount of bangers throughout the years, including Frat Rules and Yamborghini high.
Let’s take a looking into Rocky’s star-studded list of tracks which have put us in the mood to cry, trip balls and absolutely lose it on the dancefloor. Not to mention his longstanding love for flamboyant and sometimes borderline outrageous fashion choices.
It’s difficult to categorize A$AP Rocky’s style of rap. Each project features a distinct sound paired with a flurry of emotions which listeners feel from track to track. However, with Rocky, we know we’re always going to get smooth vocals which are easy to understand, paired with head-bob-inducing beats.
When you need to vibe
When I think of songs to vibe to, I instantly gravitate towards Kids Turned Out Fine from Testing. The track is a bit of a “chill out” directed towards parents who believe their kids have fallen down an estranged path of drugs and condemned actions.
From top to bottom, Rocky is telling parents that their kids will turn out fine, pointing out the fact that they were probably doing similar things at their age. Pair these wholesome lyrics with a psychedelic beat, and you have the perfect song to listen to on a long drive, when chilling at the crib or even when you’re under the influence of shrooms or acid.
Another classic in this category has to be Everyday in collaboration with Rod Stewart, Miguel and Mark Ronson. LSD and A$AP Forever Remix are two other tracks which fit this category well, but neither has the same effect as Everyday.
Rocky shows us his versatility in this track through the addition of multiple artists better known for their softer approach to singing. His hard rap plays with the comfy touch of Miguel throughout the song to produce a terrific contrast. With every verse, you feel as if the energy in your body shifts from happy to sad to motivated.
When you need some quality bangers
It’s so, so difficult to fill this section with less than 100 tracks. But, Rocky, as of late, has been releasing a good variety of tracks with seasons, situations and festivities in mind. Most recently, we got Sundress.
Well, not exactly. The track was actually released in 2018, although it’s risen to prominence over the summer. Rocky released the track as a single in mid-November, which I find super interesting as the song is truly a summer banger.
Picture Rocky in his signature babushka head scarf, driving down the windy roads along the Amalfi coast in a retro Mercedes. Odds are, he has Sundress playing in the background as the quick drums, intoxicating background humming and head-shaking beat fit the summer aesthetic perfectly.
To give you all a total 180, we have Fukk sleep. Another track from Testing, this song was released in collaboration with FKA Twigs, who added the goddess-like harmonizing in the background. In true Rocky fashion, the track does a great job of sucking you in, forcing you to listen to every bar that he spits.
Other tracks that would suit this category would definitely be Fashion Killa off of LONE.LIVE.A$AP and Love$ick with Mura Masa.
When you need to go apesh*t
Luckily for you, and unfortunately for me, Rocky has too many bangers that will get you off of your seat and onto the dancefloor. Just to rattle off a few, we have F**kin Problems, Shabba, Work and Bahamas.
However, there are a few key tracks which deserve a closer look. One of which is Praise the Lord, which was produced in conjunction with Chief Skeppy himself. When Rocky touched down in London, he made two calls: First to Skepta, then to a psychedelic professor who specializes in the study of LSD. What came next was hours and hours of the pair spitting bars while tripping balls on the hallucinogenic drug.
Next, we have PICK IT UP with Famous Dex. The pair play with this interesting dichotomy where Rocky drops bars that make you think and hone in on exactly what he’s saying, while Famous Dex is known for his mumble rap style. As well, the pair contrast so much that it practically sounds like a new song when Rocky enters the beat.
Finally, Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2. This tune could serve as Rocky’s anthem for years to come. The first bar of the song sets the tone as you feel inclined to almost scream each following word. LPFJ2 is an absolute belter which makes you jump around with your friends or bob your head so aggressively that your car bounces up and down like a lowrider.
A$AP has grown into a men’s fashion icon as years have progressed. He often mixes flamboyant, unisex looks with stylish attire that features gentlemanly tailoring. Pre-2019 Grammys, we saw Rocky in a pink and white suit which was torn off of the stage at Jonathon Anderson’s Loewe F/W show. The look was gentlemanly in its silhouette, although the colour blocking made for a seamless, borderline perfect transition.
In 2018, we saw Rocky start the trend which would rock the fashion world for summers to come. The silk babushka is a commonality among Balkan and European grandmothers. However, Rocky took the headpiece and attached it to an overall sleek and high-fashion look at the LACMA art and film gala. The babushka trend would take off as we saw people rocking scarves around their head all summer long.
When we heard the news that Rocky was named the face of Dior Homme in 2016, I think we all jumped with joy. We’ve seen him pull off stylish looks in dressed-up sportswear and bespoke formal wear for years. What came of the newest linkup was Rocky doing him through and through. His form-fitting suits were formerly paired with dress shoes or boots when we saw him walking red carpets. However, after the Dior connection, we saw Rocky take the brand’s sporty sneakers and combine them with their chic suit selection.