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Genre classification can be incredibly stupid. It seems like every rapper post-808s & Heartbreak has a part-time job as a singer or is plotting the next phase of their career as a one-man indie band. On A$AP Rocky’s“Above” he abandons rap for what he classifies in the song’s SoundCloud tag as “Alternative Rock.”
Rocky’s designation is interesting for a few reasons. First, what does alternative rock sound like in 2018? Second, is “Above” Rocky’s take on it? Third, where is Rocky going on his next studio album?
Yesterday (January 23), Rocky dropped “☆☆☆☆☆ 5IVE $TAR$,” which found the Harlem rapper spitting about Uber drivers and Pop-Tarts. “5IVE $TAR$” and “Above” feature the same artwork — a tire with a Mercedes-Benz hubcap and warning tape with the word “Testing” on it. As far as tests go, Rocky’s latest songs do see the Harlem rapper pushing the outer boundaries of what fans are used to hearing from Flacko. If testing is the central theme of his next body of work, then he’s off to a good start.