Pitchfork Music Festival 2012, live review | A$AP Rocky
In the hooligan rap slot this time around was Harlem’s own A$AP Rocky. Like last year’s Odd Future, you could feel the A$AP Mob's incredulity at playing a festival like Pitchfork at their notably young age. It was palpable, and about as inspiring as these dudes could be. But despite the emcee and his posse's penchant for rowdy gigs and debauchery, their amazement manifested in love for the audience, not scorn. While OFWGKTA left a sour taste in my mouth, I could actually detect some appreciation from the Brand New Guys this afternoon. While that sounds like low praise, it means a lot in this particularly hostile new brand of hip-hop.
Trap music for white people, or whatever it’s actually called, is a bizarre thing to watch. You see a handful of young rappers onstage smoking blunts, taking their shirts off, rocking skinny jeans that would’ve gotten them beaten to a pulp five years ago, and just a sea of white hands bobbing up and down in the crowd. “If you a real nigga, put yo mothafuckin’ hands up!” shout the performers. And up go the white hands. It’s weird. But that’s where we are now.
As the day's second major downpour took hold, the crowd's weeded energy kicked into high gear, and apparently a fight broke out near the front of the stage. As A$AP took a couple of pulls from a most appetizing blunt, he implored the crowd, "No fighting, just peace." He cited his Black Hippy movement, something about purple (surprise), and took another pull. He looked down at the panchoed bouncer breaking up the fight and flashed a yellowy grin. "Oh shit," he said. "Oh shit!" I don't blame him for that grin, either. I saw the same thing on Tyler's face last year, and now A$AP's playing the same hand. You've made it. They love you. Now what?