Photo: Kevin Winter / Getty Images
  /  07.24.2018

A$AP Rocky and Tyler, the Creator are hip-hop’s Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection. Seriously. Yes, both rappers are unique, but the clash of their personalities make their collaborations oddly special. In fact, they’ve been proving that so for the last three years, starting with their surprise 2015 co-headlining tour. The trek, fittingly called the “Rocky and Tyler Tour,” came as a “surprise” to fans at the time because prior to that, Odd Future and the A$AP Mob were at odds. Interestingly enough, that was also the case for the Rock and Mankind, who were also embroiled in a feud before their Attitude Era alliance. But like all great stories, a truce was formed and history was cemented. For Rocky and Tyler, they’ve since grappled their unlikely pairing and transformed it into formidable team up, backed by stone-cold collabs and, now, plans for a collaborative project called WANG$AP.

To compliment their latest announcement, the mismatched duo jumped from the top rope with a brand new collab, “Potato Salad.” As a freestyle over Monica’s 2003 song “Knock Knock,” the song is hip-hop at its core and is filled with the kind of bars that hit you like the Mandible Claw meets the People’s Elbow. And considering their run of collabs, that’s no surprise. Already strong emcees in their own right, Rocky and Tyler prove the magic of their chemistry on each collaboration, from “What the Fuck Right Now” to “Potato Salad.”

Let’s revisit those moments.

“What the Fuck Right Now”

As Tyler, the Creator puts Kanye West’s “Freestyle 4” into a suplex (“Got my first check and said, fuck depression”) Rocky rides shotgun with a stream of ad-libs, including the now fitting warning, “They ain’t ready for Tyler with the green hat/ They ain’t ready for the Wang-Sap niggas.” He was right.

“Who Dat Boy”

Over haunting production that sounds like something out of “Frankenstein” or “Halloween,” Tyler wreaks havoc with menacing lines like “That cherry be the bomb like he ran in Boston, won’t stop ’til the cops surround him,” while Rocky fills in “fuck the rap, I’m tryna own the planet.” What’s appealing between these two is how their respective differences in rap styles manage to strike an equilibrium and on “Who Dat Boy,” the observation is clear. Oh, and Rocky throws another “WANG$AP” plug here, too (“WANG$AP on the bumper sticker, fuck you niggas”).

“Golf Media (Freestyle)”

What made the Rock and Mankind so appealing during their time as a WWE tag team was the fact that they shared a lightheartedness that beamed beyond in-ring maneuvers and were damn sure the most entertaining duos of the Attitude Era. Rocky and Tyler are similar in that their respective lightheartedness allows their chemistry to heighten. Also, steel sharpens steel. On every release, like this one, they seem to be in friendly competition over who will say the most outrageous shit. With that, they find the perfect symmetry.

“Telephone Calls”

“Tell Tyler to step his flow up,” Rocky instigates over their pummeling production, as Tyler follows up with “My Vans are Vans ’cause Tyler does not fuck with Giuseppe” and “Fuck the Gucci, fuck the Raf and fuck the swag and all that other shit they wearin’.” Going back to the friendly competition we mentioned earlier, when these two push each other on wax, they end up strengthening the finish. “Telephone Calls,” which appeared on 2016’s Cozy Tapes, Vol. 1, is a solid finishing move.

“Potato Salad”

Facing off over the instrumental to Monica’s 2003 single “Knock Knock,” Tyler and Rocky trade the kind of bars that elicit a rubbernecking reaction. “I ain’t playing games but got some lil niggas who could do it so I pass the controller,” raps Tyler, before adding, “Get pressed and X’d out, tri-angle your nose , pause your life if you squares try to mess with my O’s.” Rocky, meanwhile, follows up with a string of clever lines like, “Bless at you, nah I ain’t sneeze, but if niggas want steam or smoke, bet I match you.” Altogether, these ingredients make for a healthy bowl of rap 101 and adds more stock to the dynamic duo’s pairing. Let’s hope all of this is taken further on WANG$AP.



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