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Music / A$AP Rocky

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"I be that pretty motherfucker,
Harlem's what I'm reppin'"
— "Peso"

Rakim Athelaston Mayers (born October 3, 1988), better known as A$AP Rocky, is a popular American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, model, actor, and music video director.

Born in Harlem, New York City, he has spent most of his life in New York (though he spent his teenage years in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania). He is the best-known member of the collective A$AP Mob, and has been a major fixture in Swag Rap since he began achieving mainstream exposure in 2011.

A$AP Rocky is known for his laid-back and smooth delivery, atmospheric beat choices, and unique fashion sense. His music is considered a fusion of Dirty South rap such as UGK and Three 6 Mafia and native New York-based artists like Dipset and Wu-Tang Clan, and has also been characterized by the sounds of cloud rap, with his collaborations with producer Clams Casino (credited as a pioneer of the genre) being hailed as instrumental in bringing the genre to the mainstream.

To date, he has released one major mixtape (LIVE.LOVE.A$AP, 2011) and three major label albums (LONG.LIVE.A$AP, 2013; AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP, 2015; and Testing, 2018), with the first two especially being critically acclaimed and commercially successful. He is in a long-term relationship with Rihanna, with whom he has two sons (born in June 2022 and August 2023).

Not to be confused with alt-rapper Aesop Rock. And yes — they have met.



  • LIVE.LOVE.A$AP (2011)

Studio albums

  • LONG.LIVE.A$AP (2013)
  • AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP (2015)
  • Testing (2018)

With A$AP Mob

  • 'Lord$ Never Worry (2011)
  • Cozy Tapes Vol. 1: Friends (2016)
  • Cozy Tapes Vol. 2: Too Cozy (2017)

Notable songs by A$AP Rocky include:

Filmography (not including music videos)


  • Dope (2015) as Dom
  • Jeremy Scott: The People's Designer (2015) as himself (documentary)
  • Zoolander 2 (2016) as himself
  • Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016) as himself
  • Monster (2018) as William King
  • Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics (2020) as himself (documentary)
  • Stockholm Syndrome (2020) as himself (documentary)
  • A Man Named Scott (2021) as himself (documentary)


Video games

Tropes present in his life and work:

  • Alternative Hip Hop: Continues to make experimental music even after achieving mainstream success.
  • Boastful Rap: Most of his early music revolves around this, though his subject matter has broadened considerably as his career has progressed.
  • The Casanova: Rocky paints himself as such in "Jukebox Joints"
    She's the type to seek love and make it everlasting
    I'm the type to wake up and say it never happened
    I mean I fucked the girl with hella passion
    But it's cold how we smashed, and left her sleeping on a separate mattress
  • The Charmer: A common theme in his music is his ability to effortlessly attract women.
  • Coming-of-Age Song: "Suddenly."
  • Conscious Hip Hop: "Pharsyde" leans heavily into this territory. To a lesser extent, "Gunz n Butter."
  • Darker and Edgier: AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP is WAY more somber than his previous two projects, probably influenced by A$AP Yams death.
  • The Diss Track: In spite of being a high profile rapper, these are largely absent from his catalog, with the notable exception of "Angels," which contains shots at former collaborator Spaceghostpurrp.
  • Homage:
    • The music video for "L$D" is based on the film Enter the Void.
    • Similarly, the music video for "Babushka Boi" is based on Dick Tracy.
    • The opening verse of "Changes" pays tribute to André 3000's verse in "Int'l Player's Anthem."
  • I Have Many Names: Also goes by "Pretty Flacko" and "Lord Pretty Flacko", periodically.
  • The Fashionista: Rocky has been name dropping designers and brands since his first single, and released "Fashion Killa" as the lead single for LONG.LIVE.A$AP
  • The Lancer: A$AP Ferg, the next most successful member of the A$AP Mob.
  • Love Is a Drug: Both inverted and played straight in "L$D."
  • Motor Mouth: Capable of pulling this off on several tracks, including "Lvl" and "Suddenly" from LONG.LIVE.A$AP, and then transitioning back to a laid-back drawling delivery.
  • Named After Someone Famous: His birth name, Rakim, was inspired by the rapper of the same name.
  • New Sound Album: Moderate example in Testing. While it's not completely new territory, it's far more experimental than his previous work.
  • Odd Friendship: He and Tyler, the Creator have become very close since they toured together. His friendships with Lana Del Rey and UK rapper Skepta may also count.
  • Of Corpse He's Alive: Downplayed as he isn't technically dead, but in the video for “Shitin' Me” he becomes overwhelmed with stress and passes out, in which three friends find him and start controlling his body like a marionette. They live out his career doing this from waving to fans, chilling at parties, to making music videos with his body.
  • Perishing Alt-Rock Voice: Rare non-rock example in "L$D".
  • Rags to Riches: Was homeless at one point during his teenage years.
    I remember I was poor and
    When I was young and living homeless
    Now I rock the Ricky Owens
    —"Fukk Sleep"
  • Real Men Wear Pink: A$AP Rocky is deeply interested in fashion.
  • Religion Rant Song: "Holy Ghost" is Type III.
  • Sampling: As with several hip hop artists, sampling is abundant, but is perhaps most notable in "Everyday" and "A$AP Forever," sampling Rod Stewart and Moby respectively. He also sampled Tame Impala in "Sundress"
    • Moby actually re-recorded his own vocals from "Porcelain" for the latter, as well as Rod Stewart rerecording his vocals from his feature on "In A Broken Dream" for the former.
  • Seamless Scenery: Most of the "A$AP Forever" video is a vertical Orbital Shot; the camera looping over each vignette before panning through the ground and into the next.
  • Shout-Out: The last verse of "Long Live A$AP" shouts out Pimp C, Lil Flip, and Three 6 Mafia.
  • Sinister Minister: Rocky criticizes religious leaders who take money from congregations to live lavish lifestyles in "Holy Ghost".
  • Song Style Shift: The middle section of "Changes" switches to a different beat in a different time signature.
  • Soprano and Gravel: His three songs with Lana Del Rey.
  • The Stoner: LIVE.LOVE.A$AP makes this abundantly clear, with multiple tracks about marijuana("Roll One Up", "Leaf") and codeine("Kissin' Pink"). It's been seriously suggested that the mixtape is meant to be listened to in an altered state of mind.
    • He has openly stated that he sometimes records under the influence, such as when he revealed that both he and Skepta were on Acid while recording "Praise The Lord da Shine".
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: "L$D," a psychedelic R&B ballad dedicated to, you guessed it, LSD.
  • Surreal Music Video: "Long Live A$AP," "L$D," "Yamborghini High," "A$AP Forever," and several others.
  • Swag Rap: One of the most commercially-successful practitioners.
  • Take That!: On "D.M.B." note  there's the line, "I don't hit my bitch, I need my bitch." With the song being a tribute to his current partner, Rihanna, many took it as an obvious diss to Chris Brown, Rihanna's ex, who had previously assaulted her in an infamous case of domestic violence back in 2009.
  • Title-Only Chorus: "Distorted Records."


Video Example(s):


Need for Speed Unbound

The start screen of Electronic Arts and Criterion Games' "Need for Speed Unbound" (2022) begins with EA, Criterion, and Frostbite engine logos (past and present) and street art glitching in and out in a similar vein to the beginning of "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" (2018) as the camera zooms into the Chicago-inspired setting of Lakeshore City. Then it cuts to a slow-mo shot of some of the games' characters posing at a meetup with a car, and then another cut shows two cars, one of them being A$AP Rocky's modified Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 featured as the game's cover car, starting a race with cartoonish smoke coming off the rear tires of A$AP Rocky's car as it burns out to start. It then cuts to a couple of extended clips of a car in bumper cam driving through the streets of downtown Lakeshore as the game's logo appears and sometimes glitches out itself, with A$AP Rocky's original song for the game "Shittin' Me" playing. The Need for Speed 'N' logo from "Undercover" (2008) to "No Limits" (2015) also makes a brief appearance at the beginning and end of the bumper cam clips.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / StartScreen

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