A$AP Rocky performs ‘TESTING’ at Secret London Location

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Experimentation or Examination? London played to be Rocky’s testing ground as the Harlem rapper put on a free show on Monday night. The A$AP Mob promoted his free secret show on Instagram calling it “Case Study: 002”. The location wasn’t revealed until fans picked up their tickets at a separate location.

A$AP Rocky may have only recently released his latest album, Testing, but the rapper has already caused ripples throughout the high fashion & music world. Earlier this month A$AP Rocky was unveiling Lab Rat, a performance installation in a high-ceilinged space on the seventh floor typically used for auctions. From inside a plexiglass box installed at Sotheby’s New York the rapper portrayed himself as a test subject undergoing physical and psychological tests. Submerging his head in Ice cold water, A$AP was surrounded by a crowd of onlookers and a world of viewers tuning in online. “What is this?” he questions himself, Lab Rat addressed questions of fame, ego, artistic agency versus the demands of fans, sex, love, loss.

Case Study: 002

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Monday night had a different agenda. This free show in London gave lucky goers the chance to see A$AP Rocky perform his new album in the flesh.

Testing serves as a follow-up to Rocky’s 2015 album, At. Long. Last. ASAP.
From ear deafening distorted sounds, A$AP has consistently pushed the bar visually and musically on his latest release. As promised, the album features a more experimental sound, amongst a number of surprise guest appearances ranging from Frank Ocean, Kodak Black, FKA Twigs and Lauryn Hill. One of those surprise collaborations is London’s very own grime artist, Skepta. Drawn into the mosh pits, it came as no surprise that the set finished with Skepta’s “Praise the Lord (Da Shine) to tie the evening off. Which was clearly a hit amongst the local crowd.

Philosophy of Art

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Rocking with the beat of the crowd, it was no surprise each detail was considered with A$AP Rocky. Each clearly carrying an underlying message. He wore a boiler-suit quoting “F*CK LA” pasted across the chest, something that could be tied to his single ‘Black Tux, White Collar’. The single highlights the police brutality happening over in the U.S, as well as the generic discrimination on specific ethnic races, “F*ck Police ’cause he probably wanna arrest me, F*ck the prison system, this injustice, wasn’t justified”. Rocky enchants the crowd with collision, replicating crash dummies from Testing and LAB Rat crib with a supersize crash dummy head on stage. His approach to the sounds on ‘TESTING’ mash’s sounds together and captures the friction that is caused on stage and musically. Whether intentional or experimental, the motivation is obvious. He’s doing what he likes and he’s not afraid to do it.

Photo Credit: @ZekSnaps

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