After a whole lot of teasing in the last few months, A$AP Rocky has released what is, presumably, the first cut from his upcoming fourth album.
On Tuesday (Jan. 23), the rapper released “☆☆☆☆☆ 5IVE $TAR$” to the AWGE SoundCloud page. And while the song’s feature is not confirmed on the page, it’s safe to assume the recognizable voice on the hook is rapper-singer and previous A$AP collaborator D.R.A.M.
The song is surprisingly raw-sounding, and not “raw” because of truthful lyrics, but because of its literal uncut sound. Rocky’s flow is uninterrupted and a little timid in the opening minute, almost like this is just a well-done freestyle. Plus, there are seemingly no effects on his voice.
As for what this means for the upcoming album, that remains unclear. Earlier in the month, Rocky previewed snippets of new music on his Instagram story with the caption “Testing?” which is believed to be the name of his next LP. The rapper also scrubbed his Instagram page of all content earlier in the year — now, there’s just a video for the AWGE DVD, but a clean slate on social media is often a telltale sign of a pending release.
Rocky added to the hype of a new album in his cover story interview with GQ this fall. He said he would be experimenting more on his new project — making the surprising sound on his latest drop a pretty good fit for what he told fans that they could expect.
“My new album is really about testing new sounds. People are scared to test new sounds, so they go with what’s current ’cause it’s the easy thing to do. The top 100 songs sound a certain way. People cater more to that because it’s a bigger demographic behind that, or it’s a guaranteed demographic behind that. I prefer to experiment and have my crowd grow with me and to reach new crowds,” he said.
The rapper also said he hopes to put the album out “ASAP,” and then added “no pun intended.”
This story originally was originally posted to Billboard.