A$AP Rocky is a somewhat controversial figure, to say the least. From his 2019 arrest in Stockholm for allegedly punching a fan in the face to his recent charges for assault with a firearm, it is fair to say that the artist has a fiery temperament.
Nevertheless, the Harlem native has made some great music over the years, so we’re going to look back at the fantastic tracks the rapper has made and see if we can list the five best A$AP Rocky songs of all time.
Rocky’s career began as part of the crew A$AP Mobb. His sound has progressively changed over the years, and we have heard him mature. The beginnings of Rocky’s career around 2011 saw him work extensively with Harlem producer Araab Muzik. However, as he has grown, we have seen him explore and diversify his sound, collaborating with Tyler The Creator, Skepta, and FKA Twigs.
With such a diverse portfolio, we’re going to sieve through the rapper’s catalogue and see if we slim it down to his five best.
Five best A$AP Rocky songs:
5. ‘Purple Swag’ (2011)
Among one of A$ AP’s earliest records, ‘Purple Swag’ from his debut album Live Love A$AP is a prime example of the artist in his early days. With an ambient, floating beat that takes the listener on a journey, it really is pleasant to listen to. With regard to lyricism, still young Rocky was still finding his feet falling back on a lot of the typical rap topics, sex, money and pointless materialism.
However, despite its lack of lyricism ‘Purple Swag’ is still an extremely good song and is almost hypnotic. Produced by TY Beats and containing a smooth violin sample from the Kronos Quartet, this track has to be in Rocky’s top five.
4. ‘Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2’ (2015)
‘Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2’ (LPFJ2), again sees Rocky flow on a sparse hypnotic beat that bangs with its thumping 808 bass, and although again lyricism is lacking, luckily, his flow and execution justify his lack of subject matter.
Coming as a follow-up to one of his more notable tracks, ‘Pretty Flacko’, ‘LPFJ2’ actually surpassed its predecessor as the lead single for the rapper’s second studio album, At. Long. Last. ASAP, which went on to be certified platinum by the RIAA.
3. ‘L$D’ (2015)
‘L$D’ was the third single for At. Long. Last. ASAP, and saw the artist explore completely new territory with his music as he experimented with singing and chose a less trap-orientated beat, instead trying a more downtempo, progressive-rock beat.
The song is most known for its incredible music video, which is a psychedelic paradise. Full of enthralling visual effects and trippy transition, the video for’L$D’ adds tremendously to the listening experience track and, aesthetically, complements the track brilliantly.
2. ‘Praise The Lord’ ft Skepta (2018)
Produced by Skepta for A$AP Rocky’s 2018 Testing EP’ Praise The Lord’ again sees Rocky push boundaries with his music as he attempts to attack a more jaunty beat.
From ‘Functions On The Low’ by Ruff Sqwad to ‘When I’m Ere’ by Roll Deep, UK artists have been rapping over jaunty flutes for years, but US rappers?Not so much. So it was brave of Rocky to take on this beat, and he pulled it off extremely well. The single was certified double-platinum in the US and platinum in the UK. With a music video drawing comparisons between Rocky’s hometown of New York and Skepta’s London. The video was extremely relatable for residents of both cities.
1. ‘Potato Salad’ ft Tyler The Creator (2018)
A controversial pick, maybe, but ‘Potato Salad’ takes the number one spot. A song without any structure, this song showed fans Rocky’s true lyrical ability as he rapped back to back with Tyler The Creator. A free-flowing freestyle track here, Rocky shines.
Filmed in Paris in front of the Eifel Tower, the song with its Parisian video is as much about Rocky’s embrace of fashion and collaboration with European fashion houses as it is about hip hop. Furthermore, it is undoubtedly a tribute to the old school hip hop sound.