A$AP Rocky is a New York native, and as such, he grew up around a lot of cultures. From Puerto Ricans to Dominicans and Haitians, New York City is home to a large Caribbean community. Furthermore, his father was born in Barbados.
As a result of his father’s Bajan heritage, Rocky (real name Rakim Mayers) grew up with a lot of Caribbean music. Dancehall, Soca Reggae and Calypso are just some of the genres Mayers would have been exposed to. However, in a 2015 interview with Boomshots, the Harlem native unveiled that certain Dancehall artists had a big influence on him.
One artist Mayers recognised was Buju Banton and his love for the song ‘Boom Bye Bye.’ Speaking about it, the lyricist unveiled, “I fuck with Caribbean music. I like Buju, Supacat, Beenie Man, Ninja Man, Mad Lion. I got a few, man! The list goes on. I love 1990s reggae-rap.
He then proceeded to sing the lyrics of ‘Shoot To Kill’ by Mad Lion, rapping, “Shoot to kill, every day / Shoot to kill soundboys, gun without a limit.” He praised ‘Boom By Bye’ stating, “N*ggas ain’t ready for all of that!” He also expressed how much he loved the 1992 Mad Cobra single ‘Flex’ from his album Hard To Wet, Easy To Dry.
While talking with Boomshot, Mayers admitted that although the Dancehall genre is an extremely homophobic one, he doesn’t incorporate that element of the culture into his music and asserted that he is “open-minded.” However, concerning ‘Boom Bye Bye’ and its discriminatory lyrics, he stated, “You can’t deny it’s a hot record! I Just like the song. It’s not really about what he was saying for me.”
He then admitted that even hip-hop had remnants of dancehall when it began, disclosing, “Hip-hop was the most homophobic genre of all. So we talking about the core of hip-hop in 1993. It’s accepted now. I love that the world is like that. He made the song in 1993 when that wasn’t okay, and if you ask me if it sounds ill, it does!”
A$AP Ferg’s single Shabba was directed by Mayers and featured the Dancehall legend Shabba Ranks in the video. However, the Harlem icon unveiled that he wasn’t happy with the video and had to compromise a lot as there were certain scenes the producers wouldn’t release. You can see the official list of A$AP Rock’s favourite dancehall artists below.
A$AP Rocky’s favourite dancehall artists ever:
- Buju Banton
- Beenie Man
- Ninja Man
- Mad Lion
- Mad Cobra
- Shabba Ranks