Monday, September 9th, 2019

A$AP Rocky – Babushka Boi

We wanted to test A$AP Rocky. We knew exactly what to do…


Josh Buck: Cannot describe how badly I wanted Rocky to drop a song about ghosting the president, but the vibe here is undeniable. Ten years in, he still does pure cool better than anyone in the game.

Tobi Tella: I was hoping that ASAP’s recent run-in with the law might’ve invigorated him to make something better than the middling Testing. This certainly feels fresh, with some legitimate fire in Rocky’s voice and a solid, exuberant, bouncing beat. The lyrics don’t do anything interesting and the music video is beyond heavy-handed, but at least I can remember what it sounds like a solid four minutes after hearing, which is far from where I was for most of his last project.

Oliver Maier: The first 30 seconds or so are promising, but “Babushka Boi” quickly unravels as Rocky scrambles for tedious new flows and producer Boys Noize piles ill-fitting new layers onto a beat that worked just fine as a skeleton. As on the underwhelming Testing, Rocky seems keen to experiment without really knowing where to start, and the result is a morass of unnecessary switch-ups and half-baked bars. Occasionally in Rocky’s music, his nonchalance is enough to elevate his sub-par lyricism into something perversely compelling, but that isn’t the case here.

Ryo Miyauchi: The fool is me expecting something emotionally profound, however sparse, to come from a song by a rapper historically devoid of emotion following his solitary confinement. He instead continues to say nothing in particular, filling almost all of the talking space with brand names and the most convenient cultural references. While he at least delivers them in fairly new flows, in his own oeuvre anyway, it’s still tough not to groan when it’s used to say the same old hollow catchphrases. The saving grace is the Memphis-rap cowbell, but as applicable with his past music siphoning artists from that city, it’s far better listening to the real stuff being referenced.

Alfred Soto: The bubbling and grinding behind A$AP are the stars, not A$AP. 

Joshua Minsoo Kim: Very gracious of Rocky to end the song with a forty second outro: he confirms any suspicion that he’s an unconvincing presence here. His noncommittal yelping in the chorus can’t sell the haunted house beat or the reversed tape effect or the Scarface references.

Reader average: [1.5] (2 votes)

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One Response to “A$AP Rocky – Babushka Boi”

  1. I came here for a Kate Bush reference and I was not disappointed.

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