It is A$AP Rocky's time, and in this way it is New York's time again—one of the most talked about young rappers out is a New Yorker. Though his music evokes a heritage rich in other places—the screwed sound out of Houston, a sometime singsongy flow Cleveland's Bone Thugs-N-Harmony seem the antecedent for—Rocky (our latest cover star) is from one place. He's from Harlem. This fact will not change as his career continues, even as he continues to make other sounds his own.
Harlem is a world unto itself, with a storied, evocative culture that has been endlessly discussed and valorized. The Harlem Renaissance. The Apollo. Harlem World. Here are the facets that affected Rocky as he came up, that continue to affect him now.
From dice games to nutcrackers, fox furs to catfish, this is A$AP Rocky's Guide to Harlem.
As told to Ross Scarano (@RossScarano)