A$AP was meant to hit the stage at 10:45pm, which of course in true rapper style, turned out to be around 1am. . . Although, this was probably also down to some bad organization from Proud; the staff didn’t seem to know what was going on and people were attempting to sneak their friends in constantly. Inside however, the (over-heated) venue was rammed with very excited and expectant fans, most of which were 18 year old boys in an especially mischievous mood.
A$AP Rocky is an artist who has managed to pull together influences from all the best hip-hop eras. His music is inflected with sounds from hip-hop history. A$AP is not your usual New York rapper, he is influenced by the hip-hop of the past; but, he is also moving New York rap towards its future.
‘Long.Live.A$AP’, the album we had all gathered in Proud Galleries to hear, is a masterpiece. The best songs are those which are yet to be released – the main jaw-dropping track being ’1Train’, which features Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Yelawolf, Danny Brown, Action Bronson & Big K.R.I.T. (All huge names on the current scene.) This track has that old school infectious sound, which can’t help but get your head bopping. “Down to my in-laws, they out laws with no laws.”
Photography: Andrew Timms @ Proud Galleries
A$AP’s arrival on stage led to a sudden change in atmosphere; every one buzzing and rushing forward to get as close as they could to the babe-faced rapper. Launching straight into ‘Wild For The Night’, (A$AP’s current radio-wave hit, which was produced by Skrillex) it looked as though the night was going to be one which would go down in history as top-knotch adrenaline-fuelled mayhem. A$AP stage dived into the crowd on the second drop, throwing himself around as his fans fought to get ‘just a touch’ of his famous body. We’d like to add at this point that was a constant surge of the shorter, sweaty fans removing themselves from the mosh pit in a search for air.
A brief interlude ensued, in which A$AP asked the crowd if they’d got his album. The crowd’s answer wasn’t loud enough for the artist who stated ‘They sound like they don’t wanna hear no more, i might as well leave, you know what i’m saying?!” Launching straight into ‘Angels’, another album track, A$AP leapt around the stage before suddenly disappearing – and we mean gone.
The rapper had left after performing only two songs. Why? We’re not sure. Maybe the crowd wasn’t to his liking; but, we can tell you now, there was some young fans really struggling not to cry. (Seriously.) The disappointment on A$AP’s fans’ faces was palpable. Having bought his album the day before and then managed to get into the sold out ‘secret’ gig (most people paying £20), they’d been riled up by the high-energy performance, which had lasted all of 7 minutes, only to be dropped form a height into a pool of disappointment.
A$AP Rocky is ridiculously fly and undeniably talented. His album is brilliant; but surely your fans are what help to make your album a success? Of course we don’t know the reason why he left the stage; but what we do know is that if we had to pay for tickets to see him at Proud Galleries again, we wouldn’t – if not for fear we’d be left short with only a song or two; but also for a venue which was overcrowded, un-ventilated, unfriendly, and with a shocking cloakroom system- the queue of which lasted pretty much all night.
Maybe it was the ambiguity of the night, which left A$AP less than happy to perform.It’s important for us to say that despite A$AP being advertised, and Proud Galleries harking on that he was “definitely booked” on their twitter account, it was quite apparent that alot of people in the venue had no idea who they were seeing, with one girl shouting to me as i crossed my arms to protect my lady lumps form an overzealous dancer infront: “wow this is a crazy club night isn’t it? My boob keeps getting hit too!” Yes love, you’re in a mosh pit. Proud Galleries aim seemed to have been to sell tickets, rather than keep the loyal A$AP following happy.
Anyway, a small apology from A$AP wouldn’t go amiss for those fans we saw desperately attempting to get their money back from Proud Galleries, whilst shivering outside – in the snow. (Yes, see? we didn’t even mention the fact people were queuing in the snow! Whoops.)
Although, let’s be honest – He probably doesn’t even need to apologize. The fact is, A$AP Rocky is the new buzz – he doesn’t even need to make an effort because his fan base is so enormous, and people will still buy his album and listen to his music religiously, despite his reputation for live performances. His only ‘Fucking Problem‘ is that he loves ‘bad bitches.’ C’est la vie!
To be honest, and to be fair, all he really needs to do is show us that gorgeous smile and we’ll forgive him. (Sorry but it’s true.) A$AP is a modern day dandy. He’s too talented for his fans to be disappointed in for long; and he knows it. We heard rumor he left to hit Chalk Farm Nandos, and who could resist some warming BBQ’d chicken in this weather?!