A$AP Rocky has returned his name to the hip-hop heavyweight conversation after teasing his new album TESTING at Sotheby’s in New York City, accompanied by a full online video stream of the event.
The impending release of Rocky’s fourth studio album, exactly three years after the release of his last complete body of work, AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP., has had fans clamoring for more music from the artist.
Accordingly dubbed TESTING, the name reflects how Rocky has taken a different approach to the traditional album layout and roll-out. He’s opted to tease fans with cryptic artwork, social media posts, and posters all over Los Angeles and New York City in relation to his latest body of work.
Having spent the last few years since A.L.L.A working more-so in the capacity of a creative and a “curator,” Rocky took to rounding off other aspects of his life besides music.
Establishing his secretive collaborative group known as AWGE, which consists of names such as Playboi Carti, famous for his single “Magnolia,” and jeweler to the stars, Ben Baller, allowed him to then spread his reach even further.
On top of this, Rocky secured himself a position in the world of fashion, working with world-renowned brands from Calvin Klein to Maison Margiela, all the while releasing collaborative works, features on other artists projects, and helping mold a new generation of hip-hop.
Rocky gave fans their first glimpse at what TESTING would truly manifest as, in the form of the trap-oriented “Bad Company” featuring the up and coming Memphis rapper, Blocboy JB, who had already had a successful year himself after securing two charting singles with features from Drake and 21 Savage, respectively.
Following this release, Rocky went on to share the lead single for the album, entitled “A$AP Forever.” The song features electronic music producer Moby and peaked at No. 65 on the Billboard Hot 100 last month.
The rollout did not end there for Rocky, as the Harlem native’s biggest unveiling occurred on Sunday night when he shared to his massive Twitter followers the news that he had completed work on TESTING, tweeting the album art with the simple caption, “ALBUM DONE.”
Along with his Twitter announcement, Rocky chose to give a select few in New York City the opportunity to be a part of a live exhibition he hosted at a famed auction house.
Billboard reported that, “Fans piled into the venue with little information given as to what they would experience prior to the puzzling event. Flacko [Rocky] sat within a clear enclosure bathing in an ice bath. He was surrounded by laboratory workers in hazmat suits and members of the A$AP Mob.”
Rocky ended the two-hour event by unveiling his completed album art in person and speaking about the process of creating his latest body of work, collaborating with the likes of Frank Ocean & Kanye West, and how he chose to put an emphasis on exploring and trying new sounds in his music in an effort to be a trendsetter in the constantly evolving music industry.
TESTING is rumored to be released on Friday, May 25.