A$AP Rocky


LiveLoveA$AP Polo Grounds****

Hip-hop acts have always had a fruitful relationship with mixtapes as a way of advertising their wares, but Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, Main Attrakionz, Danny Brown and A$AP Rocky took this to another level in 2011 with a slew of barnstorming releases. In the case of the Harlem kid born Rakim Mayers, LiveLoveA$APdemonstrates plenty of reasons why Sony splashed out on a multimillion contract to secure his services and that of his A$AP crew. Mayers has swagger and sass aplenty, but it’s tracks such as Peso, Purple Swagand Palace, with magnificent production rubs from the likes of Clams Casino, Beautiful Lou and Ty Beats, that really articulate his case. Over syrupy, slow-mo, screwball beats (a star attraction in themselves), Mayers’s laid-back, off-kilter rhymes knock out a heady narrative about his main concerns in life. A dashing statement of intent. See liveloveasap.com

Download tracks: Peso, Purple Swag, Palace