Some great thoughts from this MTHR FNKR piece on musical artists and internet culture:
A$AP Rocky is significant because he represents the absolute apotheosis of Tumblr culture. He himself is an empty vessel. His genius is combining the obsession with male beauty and general weirdness of Lil B, the faux-cultishness of Odd Future, production styles endemic of towns like Houston, TX and Huntsville, AL, with the hip-hop world’s obsession with having some sort of ascendant New York rapper on top of the hip-hop world.
Contrast this with Lana Del Rey. […] Her public image is inexorably tied to the notion that her identity is completely fabricated, and that nearly everyone in the music press hates her for no discernible reason. Think about this for a second. How can someone’s public image be that their public image is fake? Such an idea is so postmodern, so a product of Internet Culture, that it needs severe unpacking.
A$AP Rocky and Lana Del Rey are the type of entertainers we need—maybe even deserve. A$AP Rocky is the Tumblr constantly repackaging hip-hop’s ephemera, and Lana Del Rey is that post with 50,000 notes, represented and represented ad infinitum, to the point where her original context is moot. Let’s just hope they don’t do a song together. It might just make the universe explode.
And on that note: Preview Lana Del Rey & ASAP Rocky’s Collaboration, “Ridin’”