A couple weeks ago, up and coming rapper A$AP Rocky was quoted saying, “I’m really not a solo artist.” You see, most people are not aware that A$AP has a crew of rappers that all rhyme under the moniker “A$AP.” Now I did know this. About three months ago, I found the hypnotic “Purple Swag” and decided to look A$AP Rocky up. I found the A$AP site and saw all of the different members of the A$AP crew.
I listened to their stuff, and you know, it wasn’t bad. The thing is, at the end of the day, they’re not A$AP Rocky and honestly, even though I gave the other crew members a chance, I could never hear their music again and be totally fine. With that being said, I’m pretty sure A$AP Rocky is going to join the ranks of rappers who start up with crew but end up a successful loner.
This isn’t about rap groups becoming successful and then breaking up because that happens in any and every genre. Talent grows and no group of people grow the same way so it’s bound to happen. This is about the ill-fated tradition of a solo artist getting famous and then pushing their “crew” to the forefront in hopes that said crew will be just as famous and make even more money for everyone thus making everybody rich and happy and awesome FOREVER! Of course, such a fantasy is just that, a fantasy. The funny thing is how many rappers still think they can create the next Rocafella Dynasty. The even funnier thing is the fact that the Rocafella Dynasty wasn’t even a Dynasty.
Just so I can drive my point home here, there were over 40 artists on Rocafella, many of which were Jay-Z and Dame’s homies, yet you can count the number of platinum selling artists on one hand…
And the majority of those platinum selling Rocafella artists recorded Watch The Throne.
The cold hard truth is, like with A$AP Rocky, if your audience only downloads and listens to music where you are rapping alone, guess what, you’re a solo artist. No one cares about the guys in your crew, and if they did, you wouldn’t need to put them in the spotlight in the first place. So to all up and coming rappers, all I ask is be honest with yourself. Take it upon yourself to establish who among you is a rapper, and who is simply a friend who raps. If you don’t believe me that it could blow up in your face, just ask Murphy Lee, or Jaz-O, or Gunplay, or Warren G, or Quan, or Memphis Bleek, or T-Streets, or Lil’ Cease, or Freaky Zeeky, or Nickelus F, or any one of the 50 plus members of The Wu Tang Clan that’s not one of the original group. Get some perspective rappers, because otherwise, history has no choice but to repeat itself.