At long last, we have new A$AP. Or rather, proper new A$AP. After a convoluted release strategy that has had music journalists everywhere flying off the rails at every minute-long SoundCloud offering and a series of tracks that have been met with lukewarm to downright dismissive reception, A$AP Rocky has delivered our best taste yet of - and perhaps the first that we can decisively say will appear on - his hugely-anticipated new album (which is widely believed to be titled Te$ting).
Titled "A$AP Forever", the track made its premiere during an elaborate performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where it was followed by another new song, "Distorted Records" (the latter of which has yet to make its release-debut).
In light of one of the biggest single-releases in 2018 thus far, we're taking a deep dive into "A$AP Forever", analyzing its juiciest lyrics, its most bizarro bars and just what the hell is going on with this Moby feature.
Behind the Booth
On the production side of things we have the usual suspects. Genius lists Rocky himself and longtime A$AP Mob collaborator Hector Delgado as the track's production credits. Delgado has been on board for all of Rocky's projects since his debut album proper Long. Live. A$AP., so no surprises here.
While no one is doubting the eclectic ear of Rocky's listening tastes, it still came as a bit of a surprise to find Moby (yes, that Moby) as a featured artist on "A$AP Forever". Serious Rocky-stans may have been less shocked; in a 2012 interview with Fuse, Rocky succinctly described his admiration for the electronic musician with the following statement: “I like Moby — Moby’s dope.”
However, despite receiving a co-credit, Moby does not seem to have contributed anything new to the track. The entirety of the latter half of the song is built from a sample from "Porcelain", appearing on Moby's iconic fifth studio album Play, released in 1999. It is probably most well-known for its appearance in the 2000 thriller The Beach, which chronicles Leonardo DiCaprio in some weird sex cult times.
The chorus of "A$AP Forever" may remind some listeners of Lil Pump's "Gucci Gang", only in that both refrains are largely constructed around fierce repetitive barks of the word "gang," but there are plenty of verbal exercises on display here that stick in the brain, not to mention some interesting tidbits we can glean from Rocky's life. Such as:
"She losin' her mind, we kiss to Frank Ocean and Blonde / Convincin' my bitch to go blonde"
After collaborating on last year's A$AP Mob-cut "RAF", here is some concrete proof that Rocky - just like most of us - finds Frank Ocean's 2016 album an ideal soundtrack to snog to.
"When it's my time to go, adios, vamonos / Flacko no Dominicano but eat the tostones with platanos"
Clarifying his culinary interest in the Dominican Republic is one of the most impressively-timed rhymes in a verse that hinges on rapid-fire delivery.
"I'm on my live alone, die VLONE / You talk about spending or buyin' clothes"
There are multiple fashion puns in Flacko's verse, with shouts to Margiela and Goyard, but this one is just objectively the most clever.
How Does It Compare?
The lead-up to Te$ting has been, well, a bit testy. The full catalogue of music unveiled by Rocky in the lead-up to its release includes "Above”,“5IVE $TARS”, “Money Bags Freestyle”, “Cocky” featuring Gucci Mane and 21 Savage, and “Bad Company” featuring BlocBoy JB. No one can say with any confidence which of these will appear on the finished product and which have been well-timed SoundCloud misdirections.
What we can say is that, aside from "Cocky", "A$AP Forever" is the first of the bunch that feels fully-fleshed out, worthy of the furious storms of hype surrounding the upcoming release as well as living up to the legacy of Flacko's finest. Stay tuned to see how it's all going to shake out on the finished product.
For more like this, check out our guide to everything we know so far about Kanye West's next album here.