By day, says A$AP Rocky, he hustles. By night, we learn, he celebrates. This leaves not a lot of time for things like sleeping, fielding calls from telemarketers and boxset marathons, but then if you were the 23-year-old Harlemite with the freshly inked $3m record contract and a reputation as the hottest shit on the New York streets, you’d be putting in overtime as well.
Since breakout tracks ‘Purple Swag’ and ‘Peso’ bounced across the blogosphere like flung jacks in late 2011, we’ve witnessed a slight change in focus. Those songs constituted a sort of assertion of hood credentials, a street-level picture that painted Rocky as constant feature of his Harlem neighbourhood, with its graffiti-sprayed shop hoardings, hallways thick with spliff smoke and bare-chested bodies congregating on street corners. He was a hustler, but Rocky doesn’t quite have the cut of a hardboiled gangsta; he’s a little too conscious of his status as a “pretty motherfucker” to grind that way. So ‘Celebration’ hits a different tack.
This is Rocky’s first party anthem, a whoosh of uplifting Jacuzzi synths and ticking trap beats atop which he lists his achievements with an easy charm. In short, an ‘In Da Club’ that doesn’t make you wish the human race had taken a little bit more care and attention while getting itself ready.