A$AP Rocky presents debut album to the UK
Controversial Harlem hip hop star gets seductive
The good thing about being a rapper is that when you do something idiotic, one of your peers will be along shortly with a different cock-up to steal the limelight. Take A$AP Rocky, the languid and beguiling New York MC and the recent furore over his comments that black women should not wear red lipstick (possibly the most emasculating rapper controversy we’ve ever had). After A$AP (real name Rakim Mayers) blurted this out and was forced to mumble a ‘clarification’, his Detroit peer Danny Brown came along and, apparently, ahem, received oral pleasure while on stage. Or maybe that happened first and A$AP’s lipstick farrago stole Brown’s thunder …
Whichever, the point is that rappers, more than any other musicians, are constantly trapped in a seemingly never-ending swirl of hearsay, truths/untruths, rumpuses and conjecture, behind which their music is constantly fighting for attention: A$AP’s arrest for a brawl with amateur photographers last year didn’t help. Yet, his debut 2011 mixtape Live. Love. A$AP. was charming, hazy and intoxicating, and put him in the position where he now gets asked about his exfoliating treatments and beauty tips for women.
His debut LP Long. Live. A$AP. (featuring cameos from Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Santigold, Danny Brown and Action Bronson among others) retains that seductive appeal. This live tour will test his commitment to the craft or showing that he’d rather work on that bad boy image.
O2 Academy, Glasgow, Sun 26 May, A$AP Rocky’s debut album, Long. Live. A$AP is out now on Columbia.