In honor of Halloween, Skepta delivers on a six song EP titled “Vicious”. The short and sweet project features the likes of Lil B, Section Boyz, and some of the A$AP Mob, A$AP Rocky and Nast. Vicious is Skepta’s latest since his project Konnichiwa album last year. You can stream the project on Apple Music here and watch the video for one of the songs on the Vicious below!
Earlier today, Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg released a music video for their latest single, “Wrong”. The music video is quite trippy, with an artistic vibe to it. Like usual, Rocky and Ferg continue to show off their fashion sense in this video.
Rocky also announced via Twitter that the sequel to A$AP Mob‘s Cozy Tapes Vol. 1, would be coming soon. Although Cozy Tapes Vol. 2 doesn’t have a release date as of yet, I think we can take Rocky’s word for the fact that it should be coming rather soon. Hopefully we can see a new A$AP Rocky solo project drop this year as well. But for now, check out the music video to “Wrong” below.
If you love something why don’t you marry it? Because marriage is an endeavor. A$AP Rocky loves fashion, and specifically he has an admiration for the work of designer Raf Simons. A$AP Rocky expressed his admiration for Simon’s work in the fashion community by releasing a new song entitled “RAF” featuring Lil Uzi Vert, Playboi Carti, Frank Ocean, and Quavo. That’s quite a lineup. “RAF” premiered on episode 006 of Frank Ocean’s blonded RADIO, his Beats 1 radio show under Apple Music. Two versions of the track are available in the above video. You can listen but don’t touch his Raf.
I know very little about fashion, which is odd because my ancestors were Belgian. I tend to wear gray hoodies, sweats, and Asics in public. You’re allowed to laugh. One could argue this song could be a marketing tool for Raf Simons’s clothing, but I feel that A$AP Rocky did this song strictly as a tribute based on his endearing appreciation of fashion. I like the idea of this song because fashion is clearly one of A$AP Rocky’s interests and he’s enjoying himself. It’s a fairly mellow tune that doesn’t get in your face and the message is pretty easy to comprehend: Don’t touch his Raf. The featured artists feel right at home on this track and convey a similar message. What’s exciting to think about is if future artists will debut music on Frank Ocean’s show. This prospect could enhance Ocean’s audience and it might be a beneficial play for Apple and artists.
It was a shock to see newcomer A$AP Rocky, one of 2013’s biggest stories, overlooked during the recently announced Grammy nominations. In fact, beyond “Fuckin’ Problems” scoring a Best Rap Song nomination, A$AP was nothing more than a footnote, an embarrassing oversight by music’s most influential collective. Now—as 2013 draws to a close and a slew of lauding rap retrospectives have emerged—A$AP deserves a second look. In particular, one of the most understated tracks off his latest LP, “Fashion Killa,” is especially in need of reassessment.
“Fashion Killa”, one of rap’s strongest singles since Game’s “Hate It or Love It”, is a transcendent, almost deceptively heartfelt track off A$AP’s debut album, LONG. LIVE. A$AP. Caught in a moment of possibility during his “fashion night out,” “Fashion Killa” reveals hidden levels of depth in A$AP’s music, offering a universal message of celebratory, invigorating love.
Although successful, A$AP is often criticized over a perceived lyrical weakness, or laziness toward the content of his songs. On the contrary, his “Fashion Killa” creates an immersive world that invites the listener to consider the momentary thrill of being in love. In A$AP’s case, it is viewed through the prism of wealth and fashion; his Fashion Killa becoming a metaphor for his ideal woman.
Her attitude Rihanna, she get it from her mama.
She jiggy like Madonna, but she trippy like Nirvana.
In the immediate scope of his night, all A$AP’s girl needs to do is challenge him. She pushes him to stretch his passion. That she matches him is clear in the song’s early moments (Rockin, rollin, swaggin to the max) as he compliments her (Smiling is your treasure/you’re so well put together) and contemplates a future that exists for both of them (Go away together, we could get away forever). While fleeting, these sentiments capture the soul beneath the song; A$AP is not merely rattling off a list of his favorite designers, but crafting a narrative.
It is the song’s chorus that is most revealing. Rather than taken as literal, A$AP’s “her pistol go (bang, bang)” can be interpreted as the spark that draws him toward her. Her spirit speaks to him, and through her lust for life, he finds power and, possibly, redemption. In its own way, there is something oddly romantic about being with someone and having the words “I said her pistol go… Cuz she a fashion killa” cross your mind.
In A$AP’s perfect vision, he is not indulging in a fantasy of boundless sexual conquests, or ridiculing his girlfriend for daring to love (or control) him. Instead, his Fashion Killa is a partner, someone with the same tastes and ambitions as him. And, ultimately, he contemplates a time when everything they have worked for manifests, as he describes:
Versace got a lot, but she may never wear it,
But she save it so our babies will be flyer than their parents.
Through this, expensive tastes are no longer a mere status symbol, but represent the potential of long-term success and happiness. Poignantly, however, when placed within the context of the album, the final question on “Fashion Killa” becomes: do the song’s sentiments embody true growth for the rapper, or are they temporary expressions from a night of fun?
A fitting bookend to 2013, “Fashion Killa” first officially became available with the release of LONG. LIVE. A$AP. back in January; the song finally released as a single last month. Its music video—currently at 6,700,000 views on YouTube—features Rihanna in full on pixie-muse mode. Filmed with steady long shots and condensed to a bleak assortment of color, the music video for “Fashion Killa” is a celebration of the sweet joys of young love and newfound wealth over the sordid violence of street life. In its closing moments, an ominous threat throughout the video is revealed to be nothing more than a street artist spray painting ART on a building. Through his music video, A$AP is able to retain his credibility while quietly suggesting there is more to urban life than nihilism and bloodshed.
In a world where most relationships have been reduced to a series of isolated exchanges, passion and subtext live supreme in the world of hip hop. Rappers, surprisingly, are ideally placed to articulate the stuntedness of today’s Me Generation, with “Fashion Killa” serving as a fitting encapsulation of youth America’s savvy, and even their quiet yearning for love. In their bravado and coda, hip hop artists have become unlikely gatekeepers for our own hidden need for escape.
A$AP Rocky is then an apt ambassador, as his song “Fashion Killa” is one of the most genuine, yet subversive hip hop ballads of the year. In it, A$AP imagines briefly a future for himself with a specific quality of life unusually expressed by a mainstream rapper. Balanced by an indie-influenced beat he produced alongside Hector Delgado and Friendzone, “Fashion Killa” suggests there is more to A$AP than “Fuckin’ Problems.”
2013 gave him his start—it is now up to A$AP to decide what his future holds.
Song of the year (Sorry Lorde).
Andy Hoglund is a public relations executive in Boston working at Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications. He is a graduate of Boston University, where he double majored in History and Film. His past internships include the Office of Senator Edward Kennedy and the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum. Andy is a contributor to the Huffington Post at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andy-hoglund-/
You can find him on Twitter at @hoglundan.
The opinions and views expressed here are the opinions of the designated author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or views of any of the individual members of Dead End Hip Hop.
The TDE camp took to Twitter today to release a teaser for Schoolboy Q’s new album, OXYMORON. Within the clip, Q’s daughter reveals that the long-awaited album will hit shelves on February 25th.
From what we’ve heard so far, we’re sure to be in for a treat when this one drops.
Now we wait.
A$AP Rocky drops off a video to “Angels”, a bonus track off his Long.Live.A$AP album.
And now A$AP Rocky jumps on the remix to the extremely controversial song U.O.E.N.O. which once feature a questionable lyric by Rick Ross. But we’re beyond that now.
Listen: Rocko-U.O.E.N.O. (ft. A$AP Rocky & Future)
Jay-Z is back with the second Made In America festival kicking off Labor Day Weekend (Aug. 31-Sept. 31) in Philadelphia. They’re revealing the lineup now. So far the participants include:
Nine Inch Nails, Emile Sande, ScHoolboy Q, Solange, Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, Walk The Moon, Wiz Khalifa, Haim, Ab-Soul, Jesse Rose, Drake, & AlunaGeorge
A$AP Rocky really out there. Shouts to him. Here he drops a few lines on Jessie Ware, whom I fux with, track “Wildest Moments”.