After our recent focus on this year's Sónar headliner, A$AP Rocky. We wanted to take a retrospective ride through the visuals of his career by selecting our top 10 music videos from the Harlem rap star. Taking us back to the start of the decade, we return to A$AP’s blossoming start, through his rise with the A$AP Mob, to arrive at the pinnacle position he holds today within the global rap game. Like any visionary within an art form, A$AP stood on the shoulders of those that came before him whilst ushering in a new generation of hip-hop aesthetics. A true conveyor and encapsulator of the zeitgeist, his style and attitudes have changed rap and its fashion forever. 

Check out our selections below, in chronological order whilst we hail, long live A$AP!

"Peso" - 2011

Directed by Abteen Bagheri and for many A$AP's breakthrough video. The beat produced by Clams Casino instantly cemented a new fresh sound that was impossible to ignore. Together with A$AP's rap skill and charm, yet a bit more weird and introverted in his beginnings, a new rap star had arrived.

 

"F**kin Problems" - 2012 

 A$AP's first banger, it featured two accompanying heavyweights, Drake who also co-produced the track and also featured Kendrick Lamar. It earned Rocky his first Grammy nomination and the lesser known fact that it sampled Wu-Tang Clan Ol dirty Bastard, iconic - "Shimmy Shimmy Ya". The true A$AP aesthetic had yet to come, but it was on its way.

 

"Goldie" - 2012

The lead single off his debut album Long. Live. A$AP, here the A$AP visual aesthetic really started to take shape. The heavy use of contemporary fashion brands and slick yet minimal production set him apart from the tired old hip-hop clichés. 

 

"Long Live A$AP" - 2012

Building on from "Goldie" the more art inspired visual style started to take a firmer and firmer hold of Rocky's video productions. Featuring again "in" brands at the time like Hood By Air, Rocky was exploring fashion down new avenues, compared to where hip hop had been before.

 

"Angels" - 2013

- A classic slice of A$AP, this time featuring the whole A$AP Mob this new York shoot visual took a trip back to Rocky's roots. The summer infused cloud rap beat produced by Jim Jonsin and Rico Love was beautifully accompanied by the Harlem shot video. The A$AP Mob was standing on the shoulders of rap supergroups like Wu-Tang, bringing the gang back into rap music. 

 

"Fashion Killa" 2013

Signified a change in A$AP's development, entering more of a Pop oriented sphere in both sound and visual. Sowing the seeds for the seemingly effortless walking of the line between pop and rap that would later define him. Fashion Killa, produced by Hector Delgado was a much lighter musical avenue, accentuated by the presence of none other than a Queen of Pop, Rihanna. A clear divider of opinion, the track and video did expose A$AP to a much wider audience.  

 

"Multiply" - 2014

Standing in stark and dark contrast to the lightness of "Fashion Killa" A$AP here returned to his better know universe. Co-directed by ASAP Rocky himself and Shomi Patwary the video stands as a pinnacle example of his style, the video gathered all things A$AP, the mob, the brands, the trippy visuals. The video also became famous for his shout outs to Balmain and Maison Martin Margiela whilst distancing himself and dissing Shayne Oliver's Hood by Air brand, that he'd previously heavily supported and had become a uniform for a great many a fuccbois. In many ways instigating the demise of the then hyped brand.

 

"LSD" - 2015

Enter A$AP's exposure to psychedelics, as has been well documented by himself in the media, psychedelics and in particular LSD has had a heavy influence on A$AP's life. A fitting homage, the accompanying video aimed to capture the feeling of such an experience. Shot in the vibrant neon-bright streets of Tokyo, the video is also a clear visual reference to Gaspar Noé's iconic "Enter the Void" movie. 

 

"Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2" - 2015

Standing as an amalgamation of his previous visual aesthetic, fused with his newly opened psychedelic eye. The video was co-directed by himself and Dexter Navy. The first single of his second studio album At. Long. Last. ASAP, the video and its visual style stood in honor of his friend and mentor A$AP Yams, who had tragically died just around the time of the album's release.

 

"Praise the Lord" - 2018

The mega-hit off the latest album 'Testing', the track made together with the British king of Grime, Skepta, was in many ways a step up in video production. The slickly shoot video featured seamless cuts between the two opposing, yeh often synchronized, realities of the two star's past and present lives in New York and London respectively. 

 

Hope you've enjoyed the little trip down A$AP lane, coming to Sónar festival this year July 18-20th, click here for the ticket info.