Back in October of 2011, I was just a sophomore at Cardinal Hayes High School in the South Bronx. I can vividly remember hating everything about school that didn’t consist of football and clowning around with my boys. However even back in my High School days, I was an avid lover of music. Hip-Hop was my favorite genre and this era dawned many artist who are considered “GOATS” today.
Drake, J. Cole, Meek Mill, Kendrick Lamar + many more were all very early into their careers. Although many of the artist that I just named hadn’t even dropped their debut albums at the time, their bodies of work were strong enough to see their eventual impact.
Included in that mix of new buzzing artist were a handful of rappers coming out of New York City. Before NYC adopted the “trap” sound of the south and the “drill” sound of Chicago, there was a mixture of the classic “boom bap” sound with a “psychedelic” style of rap.
Right in the heart of Manhattan a group of young men from the area and various parts of the Bronx formed together to create a collective which immediately impacted the game. The A$AP MOB was a new rap group from uptown which made that classic “boom bap” sound with a “psychedelic” style of rap that I mentioned earlier however A$AP MOB also added an emphasis on fashion + some chopped and screwed influence from Texas.
The most well known member of the MOB and the face of the group was A$AP Rocky. Rocky and the MOB rose to fame in 2011 with the release of mixtape: Live.Love. A$AP.
LLA$AP is considered by many to be one of the best mixtapes ever released. With the popularity of sites like Tumblr A$AP Rocky instantly became one of the most popular new artist out.
A$AP Rocky’s Debut Album “Long.Live.A$AP”
2 years later, A$AP Rocky was ready to release his debut album “LONG.LIVE.A$AP”. “Goldie” “Fu*kin Problems” “Wild for the Night” & “Fashion Killa” were all released as singles for the album. By this time A$AP Rocky was a well known name in Hip-Hop and everyone was ready to see if he would live up to the hype.
Long. Live. ASAP debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with 139,000 album-equivalent units and 139,000 copies in pure album sales in its first week. On October 16, 2019, the album was certified double platinum by the RIAA.
“Long.Live.A$AP” Impact on Fashion
Upon the release of A$AP Rocky debut album, there was a cultural shift in fashion. A$AP Rocky and the A$AP MOB introduced a SOHO inspired “hipster” and “high fashion” style uptown and globally.
LONG.LIVE.A$AP Impact On Music
On LONG.LIVE.A$AP, Rocky spoke about fashion in a number of songs. The most notable being “Fashion Killa”
Or “Goldie” where Rocky spit:
“Let’s take it to the basics, you in the midst of greatness my Martin was a Maison, rocked Margielas with no laces.”
While Hip-Hop was all about being fresh A$AP Rocky put an emphasis on fashion while ushering in a new style.
Rocky was also very experimental on the album with tracks like “Wild For The Night” featuring Birdy Nam Nam & Skirillex.
Personally I find LONG.LIVE.A$AP to be Rocky’s best and most influential project. Not only did the album live up to the hype with a boast of great features and hit records, the album help impact the new wave of rappers who make “fashion” a priority in their music.
Rocky spoke on that more in depth in his 2018 interview with Desus & Mero