Last Friday I attended a private listening session for A$AP Rocky’s upcoming project, LIVE. LOVE. A$AP. I’ve never been to a listening party before, but a friend who has frequented them in the past told me they’re generally shit and a complete waste of time unless there’s free booze—then everyone just gets drunk and talks over the music. Or, if you’re Kanye West, then you ghost rap on top of the entire album while everyone awkwardly stares in silence.
So when I stepped off the elevator at the Jungle Studios penthouse on the West Side of Manhattan, I was stoked to walk into something that felt more like a rowdy house party than a room filled with a bunch of industry folks sitting nodding their heads to the music.
The space was packed. Rocky and his crew held court in the studio, crowded around a table covered with blunt wraps, half drunk 40s, and empty champagne bottles. They all danced and rapped lyrics to each other. Occasionally Rocky would get on the mic and tell the DJ to change the song or shout out certain people in the room—Mos Def and Jim Jones were among the crowd. While in the adjacent room, two models poured Cîroc and Hennessey in red plastic cups and another woman served up fried chicken, BBQ wings, mac ‘n cheese, and plantains.
I emailed myself a quick note at the party in case I got too drunk to remember the details. It said, “ASAP, Mos Def, Jim Jones, fried chicken, wings, 40s, blunts…” The next morning I woke up with no recollection of the night before, so I guess it's a good thing I had that email.
PS: The mixape is fucking great. Download it here.
Here are some photos taken throughout the evening:
These model women were unhappy with how they look in this photo.
This was during the chorus to Peso. Everyone was shooting make believe guns in the air.
This bear is iiiiiiiinsannnnnnne.
This is Rocky's sister. Her job is being an attractive dentist with the biggest earrings ever.
This guy was jumping up and down while he yelled funny things.
And here’s a short video to give you an idea of the overall vibe, if you can ignore the shitty cell phone sound quality:
Photos: Nick Gazin and Ben Rayner