May 4, 2012

There is no truth to the rumor that Abe has become A$AP Beame. Or is there?

The World of A$AP is expanding and we’ve got to enjoy ourselves while we’re here. Cleveland, Harlem and Houston were blended brilliantly on the A$AP debut. Rocky found his Houston inspiration in drank and car culture and the Houston of Paul Wall and Chamillionaire. But with one of the first solo videos from an A$AP member other than Rocky, Ferg gives us a distinctly different aspect of the city’s rap legacy.

Ferg delivered my favorite verse on Live.Love.A$AP with his Big Mo-inspired “Kissin Pink,” but with “A Hundred Million Roses” he’s aiming for Ganksta Nip and the Geto Boys at their most paranoid and deranged. The sample sounds like a room full of Franciscan monks under demonic possession. Ferg is more restrained, putting away the sing song flow for a double time that sounds just about normal because the drums are already practically screwed. The two verses circle mortality but are more or less about groupies and intoxication. It’s the visual that serves as the attention grabbers.

Shady music video direction syndicate The ICU, cobble together an aesthetic that invokes torture porn, bordellos filled with vampire bitches and of course, the crucifixion. The visuals bring something dark and menacing out of the vocals I might not have picked up on had my first listen had been strictly audio. It’s another instance of the A$AP Mob’s precocious versatility and sense of impressionism. This crew has a remarkably chameleon quality to settle into the skin of any sound/region/vibe they’re aiming for and executing with surgical precision. All hail the imperial Trap Lord. Long.Live.A$AP is due in July.  This is turning out to be a great year for Hip Hop.

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