ASAP Rocky has thick stacks of paper, will play Town Ballroom
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • January 25, 2012 @ 4:30pm
New York City’s Harlem neighborhood has raised, nurtured and toughened several quality rappers: Cam’ron, Big L., Mase, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana, to name a few. A 23-year-old hip-hop artist, however, is well on his way to becoming the biggest of them all.
A$AP Rocky and his crew will play Buffalo at 7 p.m. Thursday night at Town Ballroom. You’re wondering what A$AP stands for? It’s “to accumulate status and power.” Tickets are $17 in advance and can be purchased here, or $20 tickets will be available at the door.
Born Rakim Mayers, A$AP Rocky is climbing the hip-hop ladder at an absurd pace, recently signing to the RCA label for $3 million—one million more than Drake’s reported Young Money deal in 2009.
This massive deal comes a bit against the grain, as there’s real reluctance for mainstream rappers to ink contracts with record labels—the artist may lose creative control and freedom in marketing, be accused of “selling out” and miss that bad-ass “do-it-yourself” feeling. For A$AP Rocky though, there was no way he’d say no to $3 million.
“I’m going to have creative control; there’s no bullshit,” A$AP Rocky told Carrie Battan of Pitchfork. “The situation is almost unrealistic. I mean, five months ago I had about $3,000 in my bank account. Now I’m worth $3 million. Nobody’s gotten a deal like that since 50 Cent.”
Although he’s frequently introduced as a Harlem rapper, A$AP Rocky’s comments in an Oct. 2011 New York Times feature suggest he’s a little less New York City than the public may believe. He certainly doesn’t seem to be wrapped up in the rather elitist rap lineage of one of the country’s hip-hop hotbeds.
“I would not consider myself to be a quote unquote real New York rapper. I don’t even like New York rappers,” A$AP Rocky send in a Sept. interview, as reported by the New York Times’ Jon Caramanica.
“[In his rhymes,] There’s chewy, slowed-down homages to Houston, flow patterns reminiscent of Cleveland’s Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, nods to New Orleans and Atlanta and the Bay Area and everywhere else hip-hop is made. Almost everywhere but New York, it seems,” Caramanica penned.
Even though he doesn’t make mention of Buffalo—at least in the six or seven tracks I’ve listened to—A$AP comes to town as the headliner after a local hip-hop performance by Lucky Seven, aspiring Buffalo rapper and co-founder of Howhood University. For more details on Lucky Seven, check out the UB Spectrum’s Brian Joseph’s piece.