What Paul McCartney and Rod Stewart Mean for Rap’s Future

The Rihanna-infused “FourFiveSeconds” raised some considerable questions about the intergenerational McCartney-West partnership, particularly among hip-hop fans. Had it not been for the more characteristic “All Day,” those concerns would’ve assuredly turned into declarations that West had fallen off, gone too far down some rock ’n’ roll rabbit hole.

So it was especially surprising when A$AP Rocky dropped a track with none other than Rod Stewart while announcing the release date for At.Long.Last.A$AP, his highly anticipated Danger Mouse-hemled follow-up to Long.Live.A$AP. Sampling the storied rock singer’s appearance on Python Lee Jackson’s largely forgotten gold nugget “In a Broken Dream,” “Everyday” also featured contributions from Miguel and Mark Ronson, the latter incidentally the stepson of Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones. A.L.L.A. followed not long thereafter, and multiple critics were quick to cite its psychedelic rock qualities. In press surrounding the release, Rocky even teased a joint mixtape with Stewart—described by Flacko as a “panty-dropper”—though he subsequently revealed that to have been a joke.

All kidding aside though, this season’s most essential rap accessory became a rock ’n’ roll geezer. And if we’re willing to speculate on this as an emerging trend, it’s probably just a matter of time before a second wave of copycats come through. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young Thug? Aloe Blacc Sabbath? James Taylor Gang? While these scenarios sound like semi-clever responses to a jokey Twitter hashtag, all suddenly seem possible now in this burgeoning rap rock redux.

Via Complex