By Sowmya Krishnamurthy
One of the standout songs on A$AP Rocky’s debut album, Long.Live.A$AP, is “1 Train,” a cross-regional rhyme fest featuring Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Action Bronson, Danny Brown, Yelawolf and Big K.R.I.T. “I wanted to make a posse cut that felt like an original ’90s underground track, and I didn’t have to tell anyone what to do,” A$AP told MTV News of putting the Hit-Boy-helmed song together. “The beat is self-explanatory — when you hear it, it just makes you wanna flow on some backpacker sh–.”
Rocky further explains that he hand selected all of the artists himself. “I took it upon myself to feature all the people who I respect as artists of my generation — Danny Brown, K.R.I.T, Yelawolf, Joey Bada$$, Action Bronson, Kendrick — I feel like they fit the criteria of the underground feel. I could’ve easily went and got Puff Daddy or Rick Ross, but I felt like this one needed the young feeling to it,” he said. “And everybody came and ripped it in their own way. Nobody sounded alike, everybody took it back to the essence and they bodied it, executed it.”
So much talent on one track, but who had the best verse? Was it Kendrick’s wordplay on lines like “We outlawed then I bogart, any pros that got ‘proached at/With a toe-tag, get broke off, in the projects with a skateboard” or maybe newcomer Joey Bada$$’s “And I’m thinkin’ ’bout signin’ to the Roc/But my n****s on the block still assigned to the rocks” or Danny Brown’s funny opener “Weed a different color like a hoodrat bra and panties”?