Behind the madness of last week's Pusha-T and Drake fracas was high art delivered by A$AP Rocky.
The Harlem rapper's third studio album, Testing, arrived as expected, featuring all the trappings of his sonic aesthetic. He taps Moby, Kid Cudi and T.I. for a tripped-out odyssey on "A$AP Forever" and melts Dave Bixby's "Morning Sun" into a Salvador Dali-painted dream on "Calldrops." Overall, the album is soaked in psychedelic texture, but there's one song that exemplifies this to a tee is: "Praise the Lord (Da Shine)."
that Skepta - Praise the lord beat is one the hardest beats ever.— 🇹🇹 aj tracey 🦋 (@ajtracey) May 25, 2018
ASAP rocky - Praise the lord produced by Skepta had me like: pic.twitter.com/E9tMkhXd4M— Jar. (@asvpjar) May 25, 2018
not religious at all but when skepta said I praise the lord and break the law I felt that In my soul— elijah williams (@tarebutton) May 25, 2018
To hear Rocky break it down, the record was created by way of hallucinogens. So in other words, he tripped out on acid. "I had a psychedelic professor, he studies in LSD, I had him come through to record and monitor us to actually test the product while being tested on," he told Genius. From there, both he and Skepta experimented and, well, "did the rhymes tripping balls." Incredible. Just imagine the footage of Rocky and Skepta trading bars while going through this mind-bending journey?
The song, produced by Skepta, wouldn't be the first time that an artist tripped out on psychedelic drugs while recording. After all, LSD also played a major role in the sessions for Rocky's tripped-out second album, At.Long.Last.A$AP. Other than Rocky, though, Chance the Rapper is also part of that mix. Acid played a role in the rapper's seminal Acid Rap project in 2013. "[There] was a lot of acid involved in Acid Rap," he told MTV at the time. "I mean, it wasn't too much — I'd say it was about 30 to 40 percent acid … more so 30 percent acid."
Redman also famously got trippy for his own opus, 1994's Dare Iz A Darkside. "I was tripping out on that album," he told REVOLT. The vibes laid out the blueprint to his most wild, odd, and manic release in his catalog.
Going back even further, John Lennon also reportedly tripped out during the recording of the Beatles' seminal Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. As the story goes, Lennon believed he was taking an "upper" during one of the sessions, but ingested LSD instead.
From acid to art, there's clearly some shine to these experiments.