None of us knew it at the time, but when the Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky swung through the eMusic offices last spring, accompanied by a good portion of his entourage, his major-label debut Long.Live.A$AP was nowhere near seeing the light of day. That day, it was slated for a July 4 release, and “Goldie,” Rocky’s glossy gold-plated lead single produced by Hit Boy (“Niggas in Paris”, “Clique”), had just hit radio. He was riding high on the buzz from his free mixtape LiveLoveA$AP, which had delivered on the promise of his tantalizing earliest songs. Those songs, accompanied by compelling, stylish low-budget clips, suggested a marketable phenomenon, but even then he was on his way to proving he was also a budding star.
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