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"Purple Swag" 2011
A Harlem MC incorporating elements of southern hip-hop into their own music isn't entirely unprecedented, most notably seen in Cam'Ron's affinity for his southern counterparts. Rocky shares this appreciation, as heard in his massive hit "Purple Swag." While "Peso" was such a thick slice of Harlem, Rocky's incorporation of Houston production and slang shows the type of extra-regional influence we're seeing more and more of as the post-Napster generation comes of age. The controversial video, featuring grilled out young white females lip-syncing Rocky's lyrics, made it another viral hit as expectations for Rocky hit a fever pitch.
"Pretty Flacko" 2012
October of 2011 saw Rocky release his online-only album Live. Love. A$AP. Containing both "Peso" and a updated version of "Purple Swag," the album also contained a collaboration with Florida-based producer/rapper SpaceGhostPurrp. A fellow appreciator of numerous hip-hop sounds, his work with Rocky showcased how much he was truly influenced by mid-90s Memphis hip-hop as well. The two had their then-highest profile moment together, causing a near-riot at CMJ's 2011 Fader Fort. Before their falling out early last year, resulting in SpaceGhostPurrp's absence from all recent Rocky projects, the two put out "Pretty Flacko," a track that emphasized just how diverse Rocky's sound could be.
The first single off of Long.Live.A$AP proved a Rocky with major label resources could continue to absolutely deliver. "Goldie" built upon Rocky's multifaceted foundation, combined the best elements and resulted in the fullest realization of his vision to date. The clip not only became one of the year's most lauded rap singles, but earned Rocky a Video Music Award nomination for Best Editing.