A$AP Rocky ft. Baaeur – ‘Riot Rave’
Riot, Rave, or Nah?5-Mar-2014
I really want to like this new A$AP Rocky track, like I’m doing my best to embrace it – but he’s not giving me a whole lot to work with here. I mean, without the rolling syrupy vocals and designer stunting then there’s not a whole lot left.
The minimalist beats thing doesn’t really work when you’re not exactly heralded as a producer, and the accompanying visuals just opens up a whole other clusterfuck of problems. That opening monologue that promises “real life rioting” and the proclamation that the “youth rules tomorrow”? It carries about as much implicit threat as a K-mart catalogue. The tumblr art style video accoutrements that are presumably supposed to conjure images of wild behaviour totally miss the mark, and it’s hard to take the guy who made a song that taught a generation of hypebeasts how to correctly pronounce ‘Ann Demeulemeester’ seriously when he’s calling for a revolution.
Rocky has always been style over substance, and that’s fine – that’s exactly why I liked him. His transformation into a political advocate carries about as much conviction as a 19 year old in a sweat shop made Che Guevara shirt thumbing through a well worn copy of ‘Eating Animals’ that they borrowed from their older sister’s cool boyfriend. Spare me. Remember when A$AP co-starred in Lan Del Ray’s ‘Ridin’ video as JFK and got assassinated at the end? That was a hundred times more compelling than this. Bring back the pretty motherfucker.