Ever since the Long.Live.A$AP tracklist was released, I’ve had this track on my radar, specifically because of one name: Danger Mouse. Most people recognize him for his work with Cee Lo Green on Gnarls Barkley, or his mashup project between Jay-Z and The Beatles known as The Grey Album. You’d be surprised however, to know how diverse his body of work really is. He’s worked with everyone from MF Doom to The Black Keys, and has proven he’s one of the most imaginative and eclectic producers of our time, not to mention under appreciated. When I saw he’d have a production credit on A$AP Rocky‘s new album, I didn’t know what to expect, except for greatness.
“Phoenix” represents a maturation process for the young rapper, and serves as a reflection of sorts as well. Taking a break from his weed, women, and money, the Harlem emcee uses this opportunity to discuss his origins and the constant scrutiny he’s been under ever since he signed his record deal, starting the song off with the ominous line, “Bloody ink on my pen spelled suicide.” Danger Mouse does not disappoint on the piano-laden production either, providing appropriate tone throughout the entire track. Honestly, it’s going to be tough to beat this one, but we look forward to seeing what else A$AP has to offer on his forthcoming album, dropping on January 15th.