The article you just read was brought to you by a few thousand dedicated readers. Will you join them?

Thanks for coming by The Tyee and reading one of many original articles we’ll post today. Our team works hard to publish in-depth stories on topics that matter on a daily basis. Our motto is: No junk. Just good journalism.

Just as we care about the quality of our reporting, we care about making our stories accessible to all who want to read them and provide a pleasant reading experience. No intrusive ads to distract you. No paywall locking you out of an article you want to read. No clickbait to trick you into reading a sensational article.

There’s a reason why our site is unique and why we don’t have to rely on those tactics — our Tyee Builders program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip in a bit of money each month (or one-time) to our editorial budget. This amazing program allows us to pay our writers fairly, keep our focus on quality over quantity of articles, and provide a pleasant reading experience for those who visit our site.

In the past year, we’ve been able to double our staff team and boost our reporting. We invest all of the revenue we receive into producing more and better journalism. We want to keep growing, but we need your support to do it.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
Canada needs more independent media. And independent media needs you.

Did you know that most news organizations in Canada are owned by just a handful of companies? And that these companies have been shutting down newsrooms and laying off reporters continually over the past few decades?

Fact-based, credible journalism is essential to our democracy. Unlike many other newsrooms across the country, The Tyee’s independent newsroom is stable and growing.

How are we able to do this? The Tyee Builder program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip into our editorial budget so that we can keep doing what we do best: fact-based, in-depth reporting on issues that matter to our readers. No paywall. No junk. Just good journalism.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to be Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
We value: Our readers.
Our independence. Our region.
The power of real journalism.
We're reader supported.
Get our newsletter free.
Help pay for our reporting.
Arts and Culture

A$AP Rocky's Show Stealer

How one New York upstart dominates his own debut album. Coming soon to Vancouver.

By Alex Hudson 12 Jan 2013 | TheTyee.ca

Alex Hudson writes for various music publications and runs a blog called Chipped Hip.

It takes a special kind of arrogance to release a debut album as ambitious as A$AP Rocky's LongLiveA$AP.

Over the course of the record's 12 songs -- or 17 including the various bonus tracks -- the upstart New Yorker raps alongside a bevy of superstar MCs, singers, and producers, some of whom are more famous and well-established than he is. There's Drake, Santigold, Kendrick Lamar, Danger Mouse, Skrillex, Florence Welch and Pharrell among many others.

Listening to the album for the first time, it's easy to be distracted by these cameos. The most conspicuous of the bunch is Skrillex's appearance on "Wild for the Night," which bizarrely places Rocky's rhymes against a backdrop of skanking reggae organ, robot voices, and speaker-frying synth blasts that sound a bit like a nuclear reactor in mid-meltdown.

And then there's Drake's tongue-twisting contribution to the sexed up "Fuckin' Problems," a track that also features a verse from Kendrick Lamar (who awesomely borrows lines from his own song, "Money Trees"). Lamar additionally shows up on the epic "1 Train," which features a dizzying string of verses from Joey Bada$$, Yelawolf, Danny Brown, Action Bronson and Big K.R.I.T.; if you're anything like me, you'll need to keep checking the credits in order to keep track of them all.

But here's what makes LongLiveA$AP such a career-making debut -- out of anyone who shows up on the album, Rocky himself is most compelling. The cameo-free "Goldie" sets a druggy atmosphere with its woozily pitch-dropped vocals, while Rocky receives a production co-credit (under the pseudonym Lord Flacko) for the atmospheric turns on "Long Live A$AP" and "Suddenly."

Perhaps most memorable of all is "PMW (All I Really Need)," which boasts a foul-mouthed chorus that's catchy enough to be a nursery rhyme but obscene enough to land me in some serious trouble if I ever absent-mindedly sing along to it in a public place.

Between March and May of this year, A$AP Rocky will support the album by touring North America as Rihanna's opening act. This jaunt includes an April 1 stop in Vancouver. Let's hope for RiRi's sake that she doesn't get outshone by the rookie; if she does, she wouldn't be the first.  [Tyee]

Read more: Music

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free.

LATEST STORIES

The Barometer

Tyee Poll: What Is One Art or Design Skill You Wish to Learn?

Take this week's poll