This is a single from Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky’s second full-length album release, and one of my favorite songs that he has recorded. It’s unusually striking for a rap music video, being a psychedelic interpretation of Tokyo set atop a lackadaisical rhythm that is devoid of actual rapping. For the first time that I’ve heard, A$AP Rocky sings on the entire song. There are no hooks, and no guest features on this song, which is refreshing.
The album that this song comes from goes back to A$AP Rocky’s original roots of making music that is not radio friendly. There’s a noticeable lack of catchy, simple and upbeat songs which the mainstream loves. It’s good to see someone be at the top of their game and reject artistic compromises to increase the commercial potential of album sales (Kendrick Lamar has smartly done the same thing with his last album, To Pimp a Butterfly). The production on this album is tremendous, and the best I’ve heard from an A$AP release: it’s as heavy and hazy as his original 2011 mixtape, with glittery synths, slow rhythms, and and glitchy samples. Overall a very good album that I will enjoy continuing to listen to. It joins the other amazing albums within the hip hop universe that have been released in 2015.
As a side note, this music video was co-directed by A$AP Rocky.