A$AP Rocky’s debut tape gets a streaming rerelease for its 10 year anniversary, but does it hold up?
Yes it does. Many things can be said about Rocky’s overall career but nothing stands the test of time quite like this one. Clams Casino and the underrated Ty Beat$ laced Rocky up with sounds that could come from virtually any point in hip hop history. Production feels like it could’ve come from the south, with some of the hardest knocking bass imaginable. Yet this is a NY mixtape.
Samples range far and wide but use the crutch of English singer Imogen Heap on the Clams tracks. Chopped & Screwed vocals felt reminiscent of a 90s Houston Screw Tape. Flows are delivered like the Cleveland based group Bone Thugs. Yet his fashion talk is something that could be born only out of a city like New York.
This album could only be born out of a love for music. Every track its so apparent. Tracks like “Houston Old Head” coming from a NY rapper sounds like a horrifying idea, but Rocky is able to make it work. Get Lit feels a 00s era Neptunes / Pharrell track with a Houston bass. Peso feels from another plane, its so clearly hip hop without feeling like it can be tied down to any specific region.
ASAP ROCKY – Houston Old Head
The one thing that has been apparent is that Rocky had some work to do on his flow. His flow is not bad on his debut, but compared to later works its so clear how he was able to improve it. His flow on this debut feels very much like a product of the early cloud rap era. A loose flow on some tracks, but on tracks Leaf we can hear what Cloud Rap really was. Leaf is essentially the pinnacle of cloud rap, debut era Rocky on Clams Casino production with cloud rap kings Main Attrakionz. Not only does the production feel ethereal, but so do the rappers on the track.
This is one of the rare tapes that you could say any track is the best track and not be wrong.