Black Thought is giving A$AP Rocky his flowers, crediting him with changing the landscape of NYC Hip-Hop with his “genre-transcendent” debut album.
The Roots co-founder showed love to the “Praise the Lord” hitmaker during a discussion with Pitchfork about influential Hip-Hop albums of the last 50 years. According to Black Thought, A$AP Rocky’s seminal project is one of his favorites.
“This album ushered in a new era of New York Hip-Hop,” he said of 2013’s LongLiveA$AP.
“It’s so braggadocious, it’s so macho, it’s so Harlem. But it’s also genre-transcendent. He was able to blur the line between the New York hip-hop aesthetic—which was trending less at the time—and the aesthetic that was beginning to trend more: classic UGK, 8Ball and MJG. He was the bridge between dope and trill in a way that was very necessary.”
Black Thought praised A$AP Rocky for inspiring other artists to think outside the box. “New Yorkers who had creative blinders on and weren’t able to see beyond two feet in front of them began to adopt a different perspective in their process. Rocky represents the beginning of that for me,” he added.
Black Thought Sees Himself In A$AP Rocky
After the iconic rapper met Rocky and the rest of the A$AP Mob, who he calls “just good dudes,” he discovered they share some canny similarities, including the day they were born.
“I really rocked with their movement,” Black Thought revealed before adding, “I see elements of myself in A$AP Rocky.
He continued, “Later on I’d find out we share a birthday. He’s named after Rakim, who’s a huge influence of mine. He’s mellow. But he’s also one of those people I admire for his ability to continue to innovate.”
Black Thought highlighted Rocky’s LongLiveA$AP alongside several classic albums from different eras. Among them are Big Daddy Kane’s Long Live the Kane, A Tribe Called Quest’s Midnight Marauders, Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak and Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn.
In other A$AP Rocky news, the Harlem-bred hitmaker recently welcomed his second child with partner Rihanna.