Some people might have been scratching their heads as A$AP Rocky, New York's next big thing, inked a $3 Million dollar deal with RCA Records recently for his solo project and to start his label A$AP worldwide. His crew's name, A$AP, stands for 'Always Strive and Prosper' and it is the motto that he lives by. The striving part may or not be over, but prosperity seems to be right around the corner for Rocky and his gang./p>
The week after his deal with RCA was announced, A$AP Rocky dropped his critically acclaimed mixtape LiveLoveA$ap . A$AP Rocky was also announced as an opening act for Drake's Club Paradise tour alongside Kendrick Lamar.
Rocky's seemingly overnight ascent is a remarkable testament to the lightning speed distribution powers of the Internet. And while he's signed with a major label, take a closer look at the 23-year-old's talent and his crew and you'll find that like Odd Future, this is a group that wants to play by its own rules.
Get to know A$AP Rocky and his A$AP mob below
AKA: Rocky, Rakim, That PMF (Pretty Motherf***er"
Rocky's rising star can be attributed to two excellent viral videos that he released and directed. His Texas-inspired flow is outside of the norm for a rapper hailing from Harlem, New York as was evident in his "Purple Swag" video. The white girl wearing grills and lip-synching his lyrics, which included the n-word, drew considerable attention. Shortly after "Purple Swag," the video for "Peso" was released and from that point on it was clear that A$AP Rocky might stick around for a little while.
Check out the "Peso" video below:
AKA: SGP, Tha Phonk
Hailing from Miami and the leader of the RVIDXRKLVN (pronounced: Raider clan), SpaceGhostpurrp has a good grip on the Internet music business. He has gained quite the following and has even been interviewed by LA weekly. He is not only a rapper but also a talented producer with a great ear for samples and quirky sound effects you might not expect to hear in hip hop (cue the Mortal Kombat "whooooppiee!").
His internet cult following has helped his music spread, but the most interesting thing about him is his approach to every song, which fuses something retro in each song. Odd Future's leading lady Syd Tha kid even showed her fan card when she blasted his hit "S.A.N.D for 2011" before an Odd Future show. Now that Spaceghostpurrp and the raider clan have linked up with A$AP, the possibilities are endless. Like two heads, two gangs are better than one.
AKA: Fergenstein, Diamond Dolla$ Page
Ferg's teddy bear nature and comical rhymes may give folks an obvious impression of him as an artist. That is, until he begins to switch to a fast-paced flow and mixes singing and sound effects in with his rhymes.
We have yet to see the best of A$AP Ferg which makes him somewhat of a sleeping giant at the moment. However the snippets of material and freestyles that we have heard are great. His first solo track "Hundred Million Roses" is a good indication of the future. He shouts out the late Selena, demonstrating his diverse musical tastes. Ferg possesses a unique fashion sense, as do all the group members, and his schtick seems to be rocking "cuts" or vests like that of a biker gang.
Nast is probably most recognized for his chipped tooth, but when he steps up to the mic, he spits a game worth listening to. His subject matter often touches on disgusting subjects or just plain ol' foul-mouthed language.
While a foul-mouthed rapper is hardly a brand new bag in hip hop, what's great about A$AP Nast is that he does not hide who he is, unlike some personas in hip hop. He is able to rap about his rugged lifestyle but polishes the ugliness with a charm you can't help but enjoy.
AKA: The Good Goon
Twelvy has done well for himself. Catapaulting off of Rocky's success, he landed a feature on Asher Roth's latest mixtape and has even jumped on stage to perform with the "I Love College" rapper. Twelvy is more of a "goon" personality than the others in the crew often with rhymes that are a tad more violent than the others. His flow is polished so he is easy to understand and he bares his wit in his punch lines.
The youngest member of the group has proven to be a solid asset to the team. His production on "Purple Swag" and "Peso" set the entire movement in motion. His soggy, dense, syrup-laden beats are the perfect soundscape for A$AP Rocky to paint his pictures on. He is often seen with the crew but does not say much, though he was heavily featured in the crew's VICE magazine classic album cover shoot. We hope to hear more great production from the young beatmaker in the future.
Check out their cyphers for Pitchfork.TV and Funk Master Flex below:
Other A$AP Members
There are numerous members in A$AP and some do not rap but help behind the scenes. The most known member who does not rap is A$AP Yam's (the one with the purple birthmark). Overall, the crew is more of a creative collective and it is evident that even before this $3 Million dollar deal, these were just a bunch of creative kids sketching out their thoughts, ideas, frustations and observations of life.
Before their success, the A$AP kids were outcasts in the New York scene as some members opted to paint their nails and rock skinny jeans before the trend hit the mainstream. Oh, how the tables have turned. There has also been rumors of beef between A$AP and Odd Future but according to Rocky it's all love between both of the freshman collectives.