For the past few weeks, the ASAP Rocky clamor has begun to really increase in volume. Normally, I try & wait out the initial buzz on an artist, but I’d heard his name for long enough. Once I read the story of his transformation into the 3 million dollar man, it was time to have a listen for myself.
Over the weekend, I checked out some of his Youtube videos (as one should always do in this type of situation) & whatever songs I could find without hunting. Though I found nothing astronomical or otherwise stellar within his raps, I’ll gladly concede that whatever the “it” factor is, this dude has it. In fact, by the time I was done listening & watching Rocky do his thing, I totally understood why people seem to be giving him their attention. (#Shoutout to whoever does production for him. Also, that White girl in the “Purple Swag” video scares me.
Is it because she’s smiling at me & calling me a “nigga?”) Time will tell if he steps away from the scores of rappers he’ll most certainly be compared to (like everything Hip Hop outta Houston) or against (like the supposed Hodgy “beef”), but for right now, apparently, he’s who #they are checking for.
Upon roaming the various rap websites I troll, I noticed a few comments insinuating that people should hurry up & “jump on board” with Rocky’s movement, before the crowd turns against him. Normally, I would’ve ignored it, but I saw numerous posts similar to the aforementioned. This has always baffled me about the rap act’s transition from local act to “known celebrity.” Only in Hip Hop (more specifically, rap music, it seems) do the fans – who undoubtedly were there when one was a “nobody” – turn their backs as the act gains success & popularity. Is this not the point of leaving your bedroom & taking the music to the world’s doorstep? Even the most bohemian of gypsy-ass rappers wants some sort of monetary compensation for their soul searching. If nothing else, it puts value on one’s skill or craft. (Value is everything. Don’t believe otherwise.) To purposely & professionally & publicly express yourself for free, with no intentions of gaining, is beyond a backwards hustle. With that said, I can only assume that the fans just eventually turn bitter that the act has left them behind. Which actually happens, to an extent, sort of. Nevertheless, it’s a phenomenon that I’ll never be able to completely fathom. (& for the record, it’s true that the Rocky Hate will be in full swing by this time next year. It’s that predictable.)
Once the fans begin to feel slighted [read: White people take notice & things start to bubble for the act], the dislike begins, & doesn’t seem to stop. Speaking of which, here’s a trick you can try at home with your friends: Name 3 rappers who never fell from the grace of their initial fan base. Knowing that the rapper/fan relationship is often unstable (& sometimes violent), I question the motives of cats like Drake & Mos Def, who are definitively multitalented & don’t need the “rap game” in order to make it in show business. Unlike others who have no choice but to pay those specific dues, they can draw an audience purely through their other endeavors, like Donald Glover d/b/a Childish Gambino. Perhaps it’s strictly for the love of the game, as they say.
ASAP Rocky (not to be confused with anybody else in his crew, who are all named ASAP *fill in the blank* ), like all rappers before him, will face scrutiny, but said scrutiny is inevitable. Ultimately, also, it’s irrelevant in the long run. The goal for all artists should be to maximize any opportunity to reveal their work to society. That ideology is based on growth. Unfortunately, though, we as humans outgrow things quickly, & even faster when the ‘net is involved.
Up & coming rappers take note; before you even set sail, they are forecasting your fail.