A$AP Rocky has been relatively quiet since dropping his major-label debut in early 2013, in many ways leaving A$AP Ferg to carry the A$AP Mob torch. The fire never died in Ferg’s hands, and Rocky takes the baton on the recently released “Multiply”, reasserting himself as one of the 2010’s most promising young rappers.
As Grantland’s Amos Barshad points out, Rocky and fellow recent breakout star Kendrick Lamar both gained notoriety around the same time; “Rocky was supposed to be the Hov of this new era, and Kendrick the Nas, with the former flashier and so forever destined to be a few commercial paces ahead,” wrote Barshad.
When Lamar released “i” a couple weeks back, that narrative was turned on its head, as it found the good kid reaching for the highest level of mainstream appeal. The complete opposite is the case on “Multiply”, as Rocky spits over a grimy, menacing beat. It’s intentionally confrontational and brash, with Rocky laying down the gauntlet; “When all the real niggas die / Fake niggas gonna multiply.” Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky may have taken different paths to get to their current position, and their newest material, while highlighting the artists’ vast differences, is a welcome reminder of the space we’ve allowed for multiple narratives to exist in one world.