From Billboard to billboards, A$AP Rocky is everywhere. No stranger to luxury, fashion and iconic brands, check him out in the new commercial for Mercedes.
In the grand scheme of things, rap music has never been bigger than it is today. This is evident in contemporary pop music, which mimics generic rap beats, and pop culture’s current reference and reverence of rappers. Among the acclaimed is 28 year old Rakim Mayers, a man better known by his stage-name, A$AP Rocky.
The Rise of Rap
From underground counterculture to mainstream moneymaking, rap has blown-up. There’s a lesson to be learned here in authentic expression and persistence. Since it’s inception, rap has been lead by hustlers who aren’t afraid to talk about the problems of society. It’s one of those things where nobody tried to make it mainstream, but it’s actually good enough that it became the source of society’s infatuation. Potentially accidentally, rap has secured the spotlight.
The Birth of A$AP
I was first introduced to A$AP by a friend in 2011. The first song I heard was “Peso,” a nasty, thumping, majestic mix of bells, 808s, and his soon-to-be signature flow. The way the winds come in during the chorus perfectly complement the bells that persist throughout the verses. His beat selection was on-point, and his rhyming abilities were beginning to burgeon, with transcendent lines like the homophone of “Cause our presence is a present just to kick it is a blessing.”
Excuse my digression, now to A$AP’s story. I did my research on the A$AP Mob as soon as I learned of their existence. They’re a group of friends and family from Harlem, New York that grew up together. They sold drugs to make money, and the group was founded by the late A$AP Yams, who cleverly defined the acronym as Always Strive and Prosper. Yams never released music, but he was the driving force behind the scenes, and the one who, in my eyes, pushed Rocky to leave the drug life behind and pursue his craft.
A$AP’s Untold Story
That was my belief until I saw this commercial. The commercial begins with someone making a beat with their hands against a wooden kitchen table. A child with the signature A$AP braids sits on a chair next to the beat-maker.
The man making the beat is Rocky’s late older brother, Ricky. Throughout the commercial, we jump between Rocky’s past and present. Scenes of him looking up to his brother are paralleled with him leaning against a Benz. A little over half way through the commercial, a man is shot, left on the pavement, and the beat stops. This is Rocky’s brother, who Rocky explains as the driving force that pushed him to rap. In his words, “My brother moved on but…the beat came back, pulsing through every vein in my body.”
As Rocky contemplates his decisions and their subsequent consequences, the beat returns and he steps on stage, before driving off in the modern day chariot. We see Ricky once more, as he tells Rocky to “go for it.” The commercial is part of a series entitled “Grow Up,” and Rocky’s segment is fittingly named “Get a Job.”
Rocky has a job now, and he’s gone beyond what anyone could have predicted. Keep your eyes peeled for A$AP Mob’s highly anticipated new album, and peep the commercial below. And remember, GO FOR IT!