December 18, 2012


The 6 Best Moments on A$AP Rocky's Star-Studded "1 Train"

Shareif Ziyadat
Shareif Ziyadat

So A$AP Rocky's "1 Train" is here. It's got to be one of the centerpieces of his forthcoming debut album Long. Live. A$AP, clocking in past six minutes and featuring six Internet-friendly MCs—Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Yelawolf, Danny Brown, Action Bronson and Big K.R.I.T.—besides Rocky. The mafioso track's vibe comes from Hit-Boy, the genius behind "N**gas in Paris," "Clique," and Kendrick Lamar's "Backseat Freestyle." Give "1Train" a listen below, then let us parse its best moments.

1: Kendrick going unhinged halfway through his verse. You never know which Lamar you're gonna get (although, just to be clear, they're all amazing), and this time you get a couple of 'em—speedy rhyme-slinger, head down, all business, and then voice-cracking, losing-my-sh*t Kendrick. Amazing, and probably the song-stealer.

2: Yelawolf putting every single one of his strengths into 50 seconds. No one slacks on this record, but Yelawolf seriously came at this verse with a goal and slaughtered it. Internal rhymes, career updates, enormous boasts, reminders he doesn't give a F, anger, white rapper elephant-in-the-room acknowledgment.

3: A$AP kicking things off like a boss. "Anything is better than that 1 train," Rocky winks in the middle of his compacted rags-to-riches story. Safe to say the dude's done with the subway.

4: Danny Brown repping for weird rappers, even in intimidating, serious company. He's "moonwalkin' on the sun barefoot with shades on" and saying things smell like penguins. Stay wild, D.

5: Big K.R.I.T. walking it out ferociously and reminding us B.B. King approves of him. After Yelawolf, it just makes sense to add one more Southern flow to the stew.

6: Action Bronson pronouncing Chilean "shh-ilean." And just suiting the track's Godfather feel better than anyone else. And shouting out Susan Sarandon.