A$AP Rocky reveals his 15 most cherished tracks ever
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A$AP Rocky reveals his 15 most cherished tracks ever

A$AP Rocky has been a prominent force in hip-hop since the 2010s. As part of the A$AP Mob, he was a prevalent figure during the early 2010s, and although he hasn’t been at the forefront recently, the emcee (real name Rakim Mayers) is considered someone who revived New York rap.

A$AP Mob rose to fame at a similar time to Odd Future, Taylor Gang and Sad Boys in the early 2010s. They gained a cult following beginning on the East Coast and, with the help of social media, went nationwide within a year.

Rocky’s career began as part of the crew. However, 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. 

In a conversation with Complex magazine, Mayers spoke about his multiple bodies of work reflected on his career and revealed the 15 tracks of his that he cherishes the most.

A$AP Rocky reveals his 15 most cherished tracks ever:

15. ‘Fuckin Problems’ feat. 2 Chainz, Drake & Kendrick Lamar

Produced by Noah ’40’ Shebib, this 2012 track included an epic line-up of rappers at the top of their game during this period. Kendrick Lamar had just released his major label debut, Good Kid m.A.A.d City, and a year earlier, Drake had put out Take Care. 

The track appeared on Mayers’ debut project, Long.Live.A$AP which came out in 2013 a year later. Speaking about the song, the Harlem native told Complex, “There was a lot of hungry people around me. Everything around me was just incredible. The expectations for me are almost unfair, and unrealistic. I just wanted something to really back up that hype. That song is like the Club Paradise Tour song. We were all busy, but we made it happen.”

14. ‘Goldie’

‘Goldie’ was produced by the LA native Hit-Boy who is renowned for his modern twist of New York City boom-bap beats. The track featured amazing vocal distortions and had its music video filmed in the French city of Paris.

The song was initially meant for Jay-Z according to Mayers, who recalled, “I was in L.A. recording with Hit-Boy. We was going through some tracks. He was going through some tracks he had made for Jay-Z. He goes, ‘You ever hear this?’ He let me hear it. I go, ‘Let me get that,’ and he let me have that record. I spit to it, and it was like, ‘This beat was made for you.’”

13. ‘Purple Kisses’

Purple Kisses was a track featured on the iconic 2012 A$AP Mob group album, Lord$ Never Worry, the song features a verse from A$AP Ferg and was produced by VERYRVRE, a production team out of Harlem.

Strangely, the fairly unknown track is one of Mayers favourites, unveiling to the reporter, “Can I be real with you? ‘Purple Kisses’ is one of my favourite videos/songs that I ever did. When I directed that video, I didn’t have any support. Like, that was all independent. Me, I paid that out of my money, and I shot it in London.”

12. ‘Cockiness (remix)’ feat. Rihanna

This track was a feature Rocky did for Rihanna before their relationship and eventual marriage. Produced by Bangladesh, the song was a remix of a single released by Rihanna.

Saying at the time it didn’t mean anything to him, Mayers unveiled, That was with Rihanna. For some reason, she loves me. I’m not even saying in a sexual way, if that makes any sense to you. It’s just like inspiration. It was Rihanna’s idea. Only thing I did was a verse. That was it.”

11. ‘Purple Swag’

This was the first significant impression A$AP Rocky had on the public and was released on his first mixtape, Live.Love.A$AP, which thrust him into the limelight as the face of A$AP Mob.

Speaking about its organic recording, A$AP Rocky told Complex, “We definitely recorded that shit in some small ass closet. I was getting high. I was high as a kite. On some purple drink, purple weed, shouts to this weed. It just felt so natural. Holy shit. I was in a world where everything was purple. I was just high. Purple lights was everywhere. It was just like, dark room, purple lights. Music blasting. That type of shit. Everything is purple. Swag.”

10. ‘Hands On The Wheel’ feat. ScHoolboy Q

ScHoolboy Q released this track via Top Dawg Entertainment. Released in 2012, ‘Hands At The Wheel’ was put out when TDE was on a high as Kendrick Lamar burst onto the mainstream. In his interview, Mayers explained that while he was living in California, he spent a lot of time in the studio with Q.

Opening up about this, Mayers elaborated, “Believe it or not, me and Q used to spend a lot of time in the studio together, ironically, because when I came to California, I started using the same studio that he was using, but that was just a coincidence. When he sent it, I was like, ‘Oh, this shit is hot.’ I went in, I sent it back to him, and he was just like wow.”

9. ‘Pe$o’

The beatmaker that produced ‘Pe$o’ was the same person that made ‘Purple Swag’ and was a hard-knocking beat that made Mayers want to lyrically outdo everybody in the culture.

Explaining this to Complex, Rocky stated, “I feel like I was really showcasing my lyrical ability. I was showing people what A$AP was. Mad rapping. Keep in mind, the same producer that did ‘Purple Swag,’ was the same producer that did ‘Pe$o.'”

8. ‘Ridin’

This track featured Lana Del Rey, a renowned singer. However, the track never appeared on a mixtape or an album much to people’s surprise. Unfortunately due to a leak it had to be moved.

Expressing his disappointment, Rocky stated, “I feel like it would’ve been so good on the album, but I can’t put that on. Everybody heard it. It fucked me up, ’cause that was a masterpiece. That song is really dope. It’s just they want to be thirsty and leak the lyrics

7. ‘Wassup’

During a brief reference of the song which appeared on Live.Love.A$AP, Mayers explained, “That was just me basically saying, ‘Yeah, I’m on this weird artsy shit, but I can still go back to the hood.’ I’m still getting love, basically.”

6. ‘Bath Salt’ feat. Flatbush Zombies

This track featured the iconic and often-overlooked New York City trio, the Flatbush Zombies. This song was produced by P On The Boards and appeared on the A$AP Mob album Lord$ Never Worry.

Speaking about his affinity for the Brooklyn group, Mayers continued, “I fuck with Flatbush Zombies. I handed them the torch. I can’t be in New York all the time. They’re dope.”

5. ‘Brand New Guy’ feat. ScHoolboy Q

A$AP Rocky made this song, again, while living in Los Angeles and hanging out with ScHoolboy Q in the studio during the making of his first album, Live.Love.A$AP. However, Rocky was a fan of Q long before he was famous.

Speaking about his awe for Q, Mayers unveiled, “I was a fan of ScHoolboy Q before I got on. He had some song called ‘Bet I Got Some Weed,’ and ‘Druggys Wit Hoes.’ I used to listen to those songs on YouTube, watch the videos like everyday and get high to it. I really liked his music. I wanted to work with him so bad.”

4. ‘Make It Stack’ feat. Lloyd Banks

‘Make It Stack’ was made by the New York production duo Doe Pesci & Tha Jerm and was released through G-Unit Records by Lloyd Banks, a legendary Queens emcee. The song was released when A$AP Rocky had just broken out in his hometown.

Speaking about his collaboration with Banks, explaining how he wanted to flex his lyrical ability, Mayers explained, “The Lloyd Banks thing was me on some lyrical shit at this time, which was when nobody believed it. It was like, ‘Okay, now let me prove to y’all that I can spit.’ So that’s why I did what I did with Lloyd Banks.”

3. ‘Kissin Pink’ feat. A$AP Ferg

A$AP Rocky released this track to showcase the lyrical ability of his counterpart, A$AP Ferg. The beat produced by Beautiful Lou was sparse and gave both MCs a lot of space to play lyrically.

Speaking to Complex, Rocky unveiled, “I felt like ‘Kissin’ Pink’ was necessary. ‘Kissin’ Pink’ was natural. ‘Kissin’ Pink’ was a real classic. It just introduced the world to Ferg, and it introduced them to our other styles that we got. That’s why I love ‘Kissin’ Pink’ so much. It’s a lot of that on his mixtape.”

2. ‘Big Spender’ feat Theophilus London

This is another collaboration Rocky has done with a New York counterpart. Theophilus London is a Brooklyn native who has worked with the likes of Azealia Banks, Soko and even Kanye West.

Speaking on how he was just hanging out with London while collaborating with those on the music scene in New York, Mayers told Complex, “See like, with Theophilus, he did just be hanging with us on some cool shit. That song just happened on some chilling shit. We chill a lot.”

1. ‘Bass’

This track is one of Rocky’s pride and he explained succinctly why it is one of his favourites simply stating, “It’s one of those songs, when it come on, you just got to fuck with it. That’s how it is. It’s just like, bass, it’s right there in your face.”