Passing the Test of 2018: A$AP Rocky
2019 has arrived, causing one to reflect back on all of 2018. A year of musical vastness included the release of the highly anticipated album Testing by A$AP Rocky. The psychedelic album truly tests the boundaries within hip hop sound. However, Rocky does not abandon his Harlem roots or main crowd, known as the A$AP Mob, photographed in his cover art. A$AP Mob’s collaborations extend beyond music production, curating fashion looks and music video aesthetics. Complex Magazine indicates, “If Andy Warhol’s Factory was relocated to modern-day Harlem, this is what it would look like.” Sound is not the sole aspect of the album that has been tested, as controversial realities are captured in both the lyrics and, most evidently, the music videos. The videos fuse color and chaos to capture his reality within the Harlem scene as well as the reality of our fragile political climate. The appealing sound compliments the profound visuals. Below are the selected videos coinciding to tracks off his album Testing. I invite the reader to dissect the imagery and relate it to their personal conclusions/ beliefs. Rocky has tested musical, stylistic, and political norms, while surpassing his fans’ expectations or ‘test’.