Currently Reading: A$AP’s Rap is Harlem’s Comeback

On his first trip to the Northwest, PDA gets exclusive about rare kush and clearing samples when recording for a major label

“I just smoked a blunt and got over it, ya know? That’s all you need to get over dumb shit, some weed. My Seattle fans understand that.”

The last time a rapper stirred up as much buzz as A$AP Rocky, which began before his album “Live. Love. A$AP” released, it was a guy named Drake. Now whether you like Drake’s contribution to the music industry is irrelevant, but his overflowing bank account has the same pre-album buzz to thank. Rocky is proving to not only to be a capable MC, but a smart business man. His acronym stands for “Always Strive And Prosper,” and he is living up to the name.

A dash of Huston’s chopped and screwed beats, a pinch of west coast vocal delivery and a spoonful of Kanye West’s fashion sense constitutes his make-up. He has successfully become what most up-an-coming rappers are trying to be – everything. And he has done it, by doing what few of the aspiring can do – pull it off.

Not long ago he graced the Showbox SODO stage with his Uptown NYC crew “A$AP Mob.” He emerged from the wings wearing an A$AP RSVP Letterman jacket with opera sonatas playing. Jimi Hendrix blasted during spoken word interludes. For the man who spent most of his childhood hustling Harlem streets to survive, it was fitting that his first trip to the Northwest was spent surrounded by familiar faces.

“It means a lot to be a part of my crew, I didn’t have that growing up,” A$AP tells PDA during our exclusive chat. “It was just me and my moms, ya know. I had to do what a little nigga had to do at a young age. Shit, I hustled. Now I get to relax and all that, I’m loving life. I’m still hustling, just hustling music and bitches now [LAUGHTER].”

Rocky recently signed to Sony-RCA for an estimated $3 million, but he seemed just as hyped about the quality cannabis he encountered when touching down in the Emerald City.

“I had some Bubblegum Kush when I got here. Had me on tilt,” A$AP said on stage to a packed house. “Give it up for yourselves. I’ve never been here before.”

An inspiring backstory, charisma, stage presence and catchy songs left the industry intrigued. But the usage of un-licensed beats on his debut album left Rocky in some hot water.

“Listen, finding new beats is hard,” A$AP explains. “The people who give them to you don’t have to clear samples. It was never my intention, but I learned a good lesson. I ain’t even stressing it, I just smoked a blunt and got over it, ya know? That’s all you need to get over dumb shit, some weed. My Seattle fans understand that. I couldn’t wait to go on stage, I knew the crowd was gonna be under one big-ass cloud. It might rain like a bitch here, but its great weather for growing.”

“Yeah I like Seattle.”


 

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– E.B.

A$AP Rocky plays word vomit with PDA

ODB, Danny Brown or Too Short?
“All of them and me on one track.”

Boxers of Briefs?
“Depends on the chick I’m taking home.”

Granddaddy Purp, Dutch Treat or Pineapple Express?
“Grandaddy Purp.”

American fashion or Tokyo?
“Blend them both into one, dig?”


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