“Hot Track of the Week”: Sam Smith/A$AP Rocky Collaboration

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After what seemed like a long hiatus, A$AP Rocky is back – this time with a somewhat unexpected collaboration.  Sam Smith brought A$AP in to add a little flavor to his already popular track, “I’m Not the Only One”.  I was pretty much blown away by how well the soft, organic beat of the song complemented A$AP’s vocals, and vice-versa.  Sounding almost like a – dare I say it – young Kanye, A$AP adds a little bit of grit to this already soulful track.

After hearing the song on repeat for a couple days and listening to some of A$AP’s original music, I realized that the successful collaboration of the two artists really shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise to me.  While Smith’s “I’m Not the Only One” isn’t exactly representative of Rocky’s music, Rocky’s voice alone is perfectly soulful – a staple in Sam Smith’s music.  Having at least this in common between the two artists is what really blew this track out of the water.

Speaking of Kanye, A$AP manages to throw in some celebrity references in his 16 bars of rapping.  Specifically, he throws a shout out to Beyoncé in his first verse: “Like Beyoncé, they’re getting by or they get embodied/ So Sasha Fierce.”  I also think he throws in a Kanye West reference in his second verse: “My momma said that we need love/ ‘Till I found out life's a bitch with no prenup, you're on your own.”  Maybe it’s a stretch, or maybe it’s just because of how similar A$AP’s style is to young Kanye, but I can’t help but imagine West rapping these lines from “Gold Digger”.

The pair performed a variation of the song live at this year’s iTunes Festival (spoiler alert: it’s AWESOME).  I highly recommend watching the professionally recorded video on iTunes, but here’s a low quality fan video if you just want the gist.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ouu0PCD-0uY

[Image sourced from kdramastars.com]