A$AP Rocky is a somewhat controversial figure, to say the least. From his 2019 arrest in Stockholm for allegedly punching a fan in the face to his recent charges for assault with a firearm, it is fair to say that the artist has a fiery temperament.
Born and raised in the Harlem neighbourhood of New York, Rocky first emerged with his crew, the A$AP Mobb, in around 2011. Before the infamous “mumble rap” era, A$AP Mobb rose to fame at a similar time to the likes of Odd Future, Taylor Gang and Sad Boys in the early 2010s.
A$AP Mobb was extremely popular nationwide, but especially in New York, as the city hadn’t produced any quality new artists since the mid-noughties. Rocky featured on a number of collaborative projects the crew released in their early days. However, it seemed as if Rocky, in particular, was always preparing for a solo career as he would simultaneously release his own solo material while other crew members did not.
The beginnings of Rocky’s career around 2011 saw him work extensively with Harlem producer Araab Muzik and in 2011, he released his debut mixtape Live. Love. ASAP. The mixtape was a fusion of classic East Coast hip hop and “cloud rap”, an ambient and more celestial hip hop style that emerged in the early 2010s.
With his real name being Rakim, named after the legendary, culture-shifting godfather MC, Rocky was obviously exposed to classic New York hip hop. However, especially with regard to the lyrical content of his songs, you can tell he was also exposed to dirty south music. Rocky’s music would evolve over the years, and as he has grown, we have seen him explore and diversify his sound, collaborating with Tyler The Creator, Skepta, and FKA Twigs.
So with such a diverse sound, it would undoubtedly be interesting to know what the rapper’s favourite albums are and see how they have impacted his style. In an interview with Complex, Rocky revealed his 25 favourite albums of all time so let’s have a look.
A$AP Rocky’s 25 favourite albums of all time:
- BAD – Michael Jackson (1987)
- Nevermind – Nirvana (1991)
- Ultimate Experience – Jimi Hendrix (1992)
- Doggystyle – Snoop Dogg (1993)
- Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers – Wu-Tang Clan (1993)
- E. 1999 Eternal – Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (1995)
- Ridin’ Dirty – UGK (1996)
- The 18th Letter – Rakim (1997)
- Capital Punishment – Big Pun (1998)
- It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot – DMX (1998)
- Flesh Of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood – DMX (1998)
- Vol 3…Life And Times Of S. Carter – Jay-Z (1999)
- The Truth – Beanie Sigel (2000)
- S.D.E – Cam’Ron (2000)
- Stankonia – Outkast (2000)
- When The Smoke Clears: Sixty 6, Sixty 1 – Three 6 Mafia (2000)
- Come Home With Me – Cam’Ron (2002)
- A Rush Of Blood To The Head – Coldplay (2002)
- Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ – 50 Cent (2003)
- Diplomatic Immunity – The Diplomats (2003)
- Purple Haze – Cam’Ron (2004)
- Late Registration – Kanye West (2005)
- Robbers & Cowards – Cold War Kids (2006)
- Stadium Arcadium – Red Hot Chili Peppers (2006)
- Seeing Sounds – N.E.R.D (2008)
You can listen to A$AP Rocky’s first-ever album below.