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A$AP Rocky continues ‘Don’t Be Dumb’ rollout with ‘RIOT (ROWDY PIPE’N)’

A$AP Rocky’s follow-up to 2018’s Testing is closer than ever before, dropping the record’s second single “RIOT (ROWDY PIPE’N)” on Thursday (July 20).

Produced by Pharrell, the new track preceded the AWGE rapper’s headlining set at Rolling Loud Miami (July 21-23). Rocky initially previewed “RIOT” during his Amazon Music Live performance last December, as the track’s droning horns, crashing percussion and triumphant energy allow Rocky’s bars to shine brightest. “I might start a riot (Woo, woo, woo) / We grow, we learn and we live (Woo, woo, woo) / Opposite of quiet (Woo, woo, woo),” he raps on the hook, interpolating Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on the ghostly, layered ad-libs beneath him.

Seen donning a wrapped white tee babushka in the cover art and numerous social media clips — which coincided the track’s premiere in a new Beats By Dre commerical “ICONIC SOUND” (which Rocky directed) — “RIOT” is the head-turning hit Don’t Be Dumb desperately needed at this stage of its rollout. It’s disruptive and of-the-moment for Rocky’s newfound work-life balance, which is illustrated in DBD Easter eggs like the “Don’t Be Dumb Hotel” and AWGE Bodega seen in the shoot. The visual features an army of Rocky’s white tee “dummies” scrambling the streets.

In January, Rocky revealed that he has “some heavy hitters” on his forthcoming project, officially releasing “Same Problems?” (Jan. 18) which surprisingly touted writing credits from Miguel, Tyler The Creator (Tyler Okonma) and Lil Yachty (Miles McCollum). Per an interview with Complex’s Jordan Rose, Rocky’s forthcoming album will feature production from not in my Pharrell and Tyler, but Madlib, Alchemist, Hitkidd, Metro Boomin, Mike Dean, Swedish House Mafia, Hit-Boy, Boi-1da and more. The Harlem trendsetter also implored hackers to stop leaking. Only then, the album will drop, presumably in August (or AWGEST).

“They gotta stop leaking it! These dummies got to stop leaking shit. Every time, we have to go back to the drawing board, but right now I think it’s in a place where we tightened it up and we really can’t make or break anything right now. We in album mode, it’s time to start rolling out the project. This is just a single for the project. This is really happening.”

A$AP Rocky to Complex

The A$AP frontman previously confirmed that Tyler, Miguel and Yachty — as well as Thundercat and rising Latin star Peso Pluma — are slated as features for Don’t Be Dumb during his Apple Music 1 interview with Zane Lowe. “We got some help from a lot of friends there. We got Miguel, we got Tyler, The Creator, we got Lil Yachty here, we got Thundercat,” he said. “Those are some heavy hitters.” He also alluded to Rihanna being featured on the album. “New collab with my baby mom,” he raps on “RIOT,” as the couple welcomed their baby boy, RZA, late last year.

Connecting the lead track to 2012’s “Fuckin Problems,” Rocky explained that “Same Problems?” was written from the perspective of “remorse.” “I just wanted to touch on something a bit different opposed to just being braggadocious, flamboyant, and just regular rap content for me… I just kind of wanted to express myself and tell how I felt without preaching,” he continued. And I think we can all relate. We all got the same problems.”

Rocky’s been teasing music off the record for the better part of two years — first unveiling “RIOT” (formerly dubbed “Roddy Rowdy Piper”) and “Mushroom Clouds” during his Summer Smash set in 2020. Performing “Same Problems?” during his Amazon Music Live set, he dedicated the track to “everybody we lost in hip-hop throughout the years.”

“You gotta know that we the highest statistic of losing people,” Rocky announced mid-performance. “No other genre loses rockstars, pop singers, and country artists. Hip-hoppers, we get killed and shot every day. Overdoses, all types of unfortunate events. So this song is dedicated to everybody we lost and anybody who ever lost somebody.”

This all came days after Rocky dropped “Shittin Me,” which followed “D.M.B.” — the album’s first single in May 2022. On top of appearing on Metro Boomin’s instantly beloved HEROES & VILLAINS, the NYC emcee divulged that his next album has tons of Metro’s maestro influence. “This next album just needs to be called Flacko Boomin, you hear me?”, he told GQ Magazine at Miami’s Art Basel — garnering greater hype altogether.

While there’s no word on cover art, tracklist or a release date, Rocky said fans won’t have to wait “too long” for Don’t Be Dumb to hit DSPs. “It’s finished and we just putting the finishing touches on it. It’s coming for sure.”

This story will be updated

Listen to “RIOT” below!

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