Lately, I feel like the only thing I've been listening to is hip hop -- and, really, it's the only thing that's been exciting me in music at the moment. Over the past few years, I've become increasingly interested in the genre, mostly due to its adventurous, and occasionally experimental, production. The latest rapper to catch my ear is Harlem native ASAP Rocky (or A$AP Rocky).
I somehow managed to miss all the buzz surrounding him, which is rather surprising considering he's being heralded as a new type of star due to the success of his viral videos -- NYU Local labeled him "Rap Star For The Information Age." It all began with the video for the suggestive, near trippy "Purple Swag." A few months later came "Peso," showing Rocky hanging out with his A$AP crew on the streets of Harlem. Word soon followed of a mixtape, but before that even came out, RCA signed Rocky to a big $3 million deal. The mixtape, entitled LiveLoveASAP, dropped on Halloween and features production by Clams Casino, Beautiful Lou, Spaceghost Purrp, DJ Burn One, and more. Considering the haunting, druggy haze of many tracks, Halloween was a rather appropriate date for this release.
Clams Casino (aka 23-year-old Mike Volpe) is, most likely, a name you've heard around the web, and the New Jersey based producer has certainly made a name for himself over the past year with both his instrumental work and contributions to releases by Lil B and Soulja Boy. His production on LiveLoveASAP is one of the biggest highlights of the mixtape, for me, and, combined with Rocky's presence and delivery, makes the tracks particularly engaging and effective. Casino's dreamy yet dark soundscapes and beats possess a rather captivating, transportive ambiance without detracting from Rocky's gritty mic attack. Check out a few of the Clams Casino-produced tracks from LiveLoveASAP below.
ASAP Rocky - "Palace" (Prod. by Clams Casino)
ASAP Rocky - "Wassup" (Prod. by Clams Casino)
Also, you need to hear "Trilla."
ASAP Rocky - "Trilla" (feat. ASAP Twelvy & ASAP Nast) (prod. Beautiful Lou)
DOWNLOAD: ASAP Rocky - LiveLoveASAP Mixtape (via Hulkshare)
DOWNLOAD: ASAP Rocky - LiveLoveASAP Mixtape (via DatPiff)
01. Palace (prod. Clams Casino)
02. Peso (prod. ASAP Ty Beats)
03. Bass (prod. Clams Casino)
04. Wassup (prod. Clams Casino)
05. Brand New Guy (feat. ScHoolboy Q) (prod. Lyle)
06. Purple Swag: Chapter 2 (feat. SpaceghostPurrp & ASAP Nast) (prod. ASAP Ty Beats)
07. Get Lit (feat. Fat Tony) (prod. Soufein3000)
08. Trilla (feat. ASAP Twelvy & ASAP Nast) (prod. Beautiful Lou)
09. Keep It G (feat. Chace Infinite & Spaceghost Purrp) (prod. Spaceghost Purrp)
10. Kissin’ Pink (feat. ASAP Ferg) (prod. Beautiful Lou)
11. Houston Old Head (prod. DJ Burn One)
12. Acid Drip (prod. Soufein3000)
13. Leaf (feat. Main Attrakionz) (prod. Clams Casino)
14. Roll One Up (prod. DJ Burn One)
15. Demons (prod. Clams Casino)
16. Out Of This World (prod. The Olympicks) (Bonus)