belated tune: A$AP Rocky, “Purple Swag: Chapter 2” (ft. Spaceghost Purrp & ASAP Nast)

[audio http://dl.soundowl.com/21vu.mp3]

Download (right click, “save as”): A$AP Rocky, “Purple Swag Chapter 2” (ft. Spaceghost Purrp & ASAP Nast)
Download: A$AP Rocky, Official LiveLoveA$AP Mixtape via datpiff.com

This year, Halloween saw what is without question one of the most monumental mixtape releases in quite some time–A$AP Rocky’s highly anticipated, 53-minute LiveLoveASAP. The Harlem product recently (reportedly) signed a $3 million deal with Sony/RCA subdivision Polo Grounds Music. It’s a sum that, considering how not-so-lucrative the music industry is in the mp3 era, screams to me that A$AP Rocky is on his way to becoming a real household name.

I was of this opinion before LiveLoveASAP dropped, before I had any idea of A$AP Rocky’s skill, which was troubling at the time. After a few rotations of such tracks as “Purple Swag Chapter 2” though, I’m more excited for the soon-to-be-mainstream-titan than I could’ve anticipated.

Here’s why: A$AP Rocky is thought to be at the vanguard of NYC’s return to hip-hop prominence. But a track like “Purple Swag” sounds like it came out of Houston, if anywhere. To me, this is the ultimate benefit of the internet in informing art–instead of subscribing to a particular local geographic style, artist’s have more ready access to what they really like. In the Clams Casino-produced opening track “Palaces”, Rocky brags that “I know those Harlem n—s gon’ be feeling this” within a minute of declaring “Influenced by Houston / You can hear it in my music.” As evidenced by, say, Mike Jones samples in “Purple Swag”, A$AP Rocky is taking southern styling and adapting it to an equally (purple-y) narcotized, more cosmopolitan style of his own.

For all of the hype, LiveLoveASAP delivers front to back. This isn’t (just) a jumping off point for commercial success–it’s the result of an artist taking what he likes and optimizing it to a new, “pretty” form. Rocky appears to be the future–get comfortably acquainted while you still can without being bombarded by radio waves on all sides.

After the jump, watch the dazed video for “Purple Swag” part one: