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A$AP ROCKY: TRIPPIN’ TO #1

The momentum behind At.Long.Last.A$AP, the sophomore project from Polo Grounds/RCA global hip-hop and high-fashion icon A$AP Rocky, has propelled the album to a #1 debut this week, with 116k in sales and 143k in SPS (Sales Plus Streaming) 

By enlisting high-end producers including Danger Mouse, Mark Ronson and Juicy J while thoughtfully curating each song and drawing on a wide range of unexpected and inspired reference points—ranging from Portishead and Massive Attack to proto-punks The Stooges—Rocky has created a unique fusion that pushes the envelope for hip-hop as a whole, while remaining absolutely authentic in its lyrical flow. And as evidenced by the strong streaming numbers posted up this week, Rocky has opened himself up to a whole new crowd. But make no mistake about it—hitting these sonic strides of unconventional swagger was the artist’s goal from the jump. 

“You see the growth, you see the maturity, which I guess you’d expect me to say is impressive,” says Bryan Leach, CEO of Polo Grounds, who signed Rocky in 2011, “but I’ve been doing this for 20 years, and not everybody’s built the same. You hear all of the various influences and you know it’s real. Not an experiment or an attempt to be different, it’s just real.”

“The music that I made, it’s one of those things where you can’t articulate it with words,” Rocky explains. “Make music to make muthafuckas feel a type of way, man! Have fun again.”

 “I worked with him pretty closely on this album, and it was obvious he was on a mission.”—Peter Edge

The pressure to deliver on expectations was particularly heavy this time around, due in no small part to the heartbreaking death in January of A$AP Yams, Rocky’s artistic partner, mentor and best friend. The album artwork serves as a silent yet powerful tribute—that big red birthmark you see fixed to Pretty Flacko’s flawless face is that of his late brother Yams, underscoring the magnitude of his loss.

“I don’t think people realize how really hard that is these days, how scary things can feel in this business to let an artist be themselves,” Leach adds. “It was a lot to deal with in terms of focus, so I give him credit and respect for handling that as much as I do for sticking to his guns musically.”

“You hear all of the various influences and you know it’s real. Not an experiment or an attempt to be different, it’s just real.”
—Bryan Leach

  To hear Peter Edge tell it, Rocky’s inherent star quality made his signing a “no-brainer” the moment the young artist walked into his office, and the RCA CEO has been gratified to witness the layers of multi-dimensional talent emerge during the last four years.

“I worked with him pretty closely on this album, and it was obvious he was on a mission,” says Edge. “I think he felt like he had a lot to prove as a rapper and needed to make an album that people would really understand was his perspective. Not just a collection of songs but something that had a real identity and theme to it musically. People are going to be surprised by him, thinking they had him pegged as one thing when my experience is there’s a lot going on there—he’s always revealing more. He’s a star. He knows what he’s up to.”

 

 

 

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