Explore Issue 01 of LOOP Magazine

Featuring Sam Tompkins and Victor Ray as our cover stars, as well as internal spreads from Girli, Jords, Mysie, Finn Askew, Kara Marni and Master Peace

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A$AP Rocky Is Out Of Pocket, Has He Lost His Touch?

However, since the release of his 2018 album “Testing”, Rocky’s career has slowly plateaued, choosing to only release singles rather than long-form LPs.

The A$AP mob leader has also been involved in his fair share of hostilities in his personal life. From alleged assaults on women, breaking music contracts and most recently spending a month in a Swedish jail, an event which caught the eye of the then United States President Donald Trump, Rakim has never been shy of controversy.

2022 has seen A$AP Rocky leading arguably one of his most press-heavy years to date, and unfortunately, it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows for the sundress singer. The 20th of April, a day on which the famous New York stoner would most likely want to spend enjoying a family-sized bag of crisps, a collection of Seth Rogan movies and enough blunt wraps to last an average day with Snoop Dogg, saw Rocky detained by the LAPD fresh off a flight from at LAX. The alleged crime is rumoured to involve the rapper shooting a man in November of 2021 during a dispute between the two, leading to injuries to the victim’s hand.

Shootings are nothing new in the world of Hip-Hop, with rappers like DaBaby, Gunna and Young Thug all making the headlines in the past few years for their arrests concerning their involvement in gang crimes. However, at the time, A$AP Rocky and his girlfriend Rihanna had just conceived their first child together, making this case bitter.

Leading a life of gang violence with a child on the way is by no means unheard of in his line of work. However, “Pretty Flacko” has made a name for himself for being a different type of rapper. Rather than choosing to join a gang, Rakim was put off by gang violence when his brother Ricky has shot dead in 2003. Instead of pledging allegiance to one of America’s colourful bandana-wearing assemblages, Rocky surrounds himself with some of the most pleasant people the industry has to offer, choosing to mingle with the likes of Tyler the Creator, The Weeknd and Michael B Jordan, to name a few.

So why does he feel the need to break his “nice guy” persona and destroy his image as a role model with (an alleged) shooting when Rocky and his ensemble are seen as some of the nicest people in the public eye? In the lead-up to the birth of his first child, it wouldn’t be outlandish to think that GQ’s 2021’s “prettiest man alive” would be on his best behaviour to inspire his soon-to-be-born son.

Rappers have never been shy about letting the world know about their love for their children. Kanye released “Only One” a song that speaks as a message for his perished mother and his firstborn son Saint. Nas Released “Daughters”, a track so powerful it was nominated for two Grammys, and Kendrick Lamar chose to put both of his children on the cover of his latest album “, Mr Morale & The Big Steppers” and spoke about them throughout the whole project. So what did A$AP Rocky release in the week of the birth of his first child? A loving ode to future fatherhood? A song that promises to be the best father he could be? A love song towards the future mother of his child? Nope. A song called DMB (Dats my Bitch).

This track is redundant of redeeming qualities, and what it does possess instead is troubling. Suppose we forget about the uninspired beat, poor vocal production and monotonous and instantly forgettable hook. In that case, we find ourselves with some of the most disrespectful lyrics anyone has released about a woman that is not only the mother of their child but is also somebody they love. “Roll my blunt, fill my cup, Be my bitch, rub my gut, Rub yo’ butt, be my slut, Be my cunt, yeah, so what?”. Who said romance was dead?

One viewing of the music video to DMB makes sure to leave no question in the viewer’s mind about who the song is for; this track is about Rocky’s “Bitch””… Rihanna. The most complex part of this song is Rihanna’s involvement and acceptance of the track. Not only is Rihanna one of the most respected musicians of the past two decades, but she is also regarded as one of the most inspiring and empowering women in the music industry, so her involvement in a track this degrading of her is boggling.

Unfortunately, the madness that has taken over A$AP in the past year wasn’t done there. A$AP Rocky was slated for a support slot for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers across their UK tour this year as their main opening act. However, as their show at Manchester’s Old Trafford played throughout the day, fans were greeted with a sign that read, “Due to unforeseen circumstances A$AP Rocky will now play immediately after Red Hot Chilli Peppers”. Rocky showed up so late to the show that he ended up as the main headliner, taking over the legacy band’s own performance and making them cut their set short so he could perform for fifteen minutes. His set was met with mass walkouts as the northern crowd made their disdain for him apparent, yet no apology was issued from the rapper.

This was later followed up by a disappointing set in London the same weekend and an under-attended and cut-short show headlining Wireless Festival in Crystal Palace.

So what has happened to the once-great musician? Is he out of touch? Has he dropped off? Has he fallen so far out of pocket that he has slid his way under his own couch and become comfortable disappointing fans and irritating possible new ones along the way?

The early struggles of fatherhood could be enough to drive anybody wild; sleepless nights and fatherly duties must cause immeasurable stress. However, it’s hard to tell if his misdoings stem from pressure or if they have come from an ego that he has achieved by amassing ridiculous levels of fame and dating one of the most romantically sought-after women in the world.

Either way, A$AP has increasingly rocky groundwork to relay, and it is never a bad idea to start atoning for your mistakes sooner than later.

Words by Mason Meyers

Posted On 4 October, 2022