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9th May 2022 EDT FEATURES

A$AP Rocky talks about his “ghetto love tale” with Rihanna in his latest track

A$AP Rocky talks about his “ghetto love tale” with Rihanna in his latest track
A$AP Rocky talks about his “ghetto love tale” with Rihanna in his latest track

Quick Look:

Our Review

By Anton Karve

If you want to understand A$AP Rocky’s latest single “D.M.B.” in a nutshell, I’d refer you to these two lyrics:

“Roll my blunt, fill my cup, be my bitch /
Hold my gun, load it up, count my slugs (That’s my bitch)”
“My angel and my Goddess, when my head get clouded /
You’re my soulmate, my Goddess”

D.M.B., or ‘DAT$ MAH B!*$H’, is a “ghetto love tale”. It depicts both the hardness of life in the hood, as well as the softness of the tender romance between A$AP Rocky and his beau Rihanna. Starting with hard-hitting trap beats and distorted bass-lines, then later transitioning to bright instrumentals and soulful vocals, the song meanders through all aspects of their love story.

ASAP Rocky D.M.B. Single Cover

“D.M.B.” Single Cover. Image – Hypebeast.

The subtle transition from a rough-around-the-edges depiction of a blossoming hood romance towards a serious, passionate relationship is mirrored in the instrumentals, lyrics, and even music video. 

The music video jumps between many different scenes: stacks of cash, smouldering ashtrays, smoking out of the balcony, gambling and getting out of jail. The one common thing throughout the video? Rihanna being there for Rocky throughout everything. The message is clear: she’s his ride-or-die, and he is hers.

Rocky kicks off the first verse by recounting how he initially saw the relationship as a fling:

Time to call it what it was, first I thought it wasn’t nothin’ /
Probably think I wanna hit and run, bad girls wanna have fun /
I don’t want no Goody Two-Shoes, no nun

He later realised aspects of his partner that made him want to stay:

Like an attitude, curve a n—- when she didn’t have to /
Around the lords like a British council

I was lost then but I found you /
Little slim thick with a bounce too /
It’s your tough love that I’m bound to

A$AP ASAP Rocky Rihanna D.M.B. Music Video

A$AP Rocky and Rihanna on a Harlem balcony in the “D.M.B.” music video. Image – A$AP Rocky/Youtube.

About halfway through the song’s runtime the trap instrumentals fade away, leaving us with bright guitar licks, a simple drumline, and a choir crooning one phrase over and over: “I fell in love with you”. The video reflects this, exchanging rapid transitions for extended clips of what appears to be a hood marriage ceremony. A$AP flashes a grill with the words “MARRY ME”, while Rihanna flashes a grill with the words “I DO”.

Through this interlude, A$AP creates a window to dive deeper into his feelings for Rihanna.

Baby (I fell in love with you) /
It’s been a little time since we both (I fell in love with you) /
Felt full since our first encounter (My first encounter)

And baby (I fell in love with you) /
Don’t let another n—- try my baby /
Girl you know I’m one call away

As A$AP croons, the video cuts between a trippy scrapbook of memories depicting their romance, scenes of the couple walking through the hallway of their “ghetto wedding”, and the two exchanging an embrace after Rocky leaves a detention centre. 

Rihanna ASAP A$AP Rocky Wedding D.M.B. Music Video

Rose petals are scattered over Rihanna (left) and A$AP Rocky (right) during their ‘wedding’ ceremony. Image – A$AP Rocky/Youtube.

The nearly 5-minute-long video ends with an extended snap cut of photos taken throughout the video, providing a summary of their relationship’s progression. As a choir chants the final line, “Hold up, hold up (I fell in love with you)”, the video ends on a photo of A$AP and Rihanna taken during their “wedding”.

ASAP Rocky Rihanna Wedding D.M.B. Music Video

A$AP and Rihanna in their “ghetto wedding”. Image – @fuckatnames Instagram

At its core, “D.M.B.” is a romantic ballad through which Rocky professes his love for Rihanna, all while hinting about the status of their relationship. Though they got “married” in the music video, there is still no official information about any changes in their relationship’s status. Rihanna is currently expecting her first child with A$AP, and fans believe the video offers many obvious hints about what’s to come. What do you think?

Our Review:

Throughout his discography, Rocky has displayed incredible talent at creating hard-hitting club songs as well as soulful, brooding tracks — and this song is a beautifully executed combination of both. He doesn’t try too hard in the lyrics or attempt to hide special meaning between every line. The music video shows things as they are, reflecting different sides of the relationship as they are depicted in the lyrics. Though he focuses on the positive aspects of their relationship, he doesn’t attempt to overly glamourise it, and stays true to his Harlem roots. In an industry fraught with drama, it’s heartwarming to see a (seemingly) loving relationship every once in a while. As A$AP tracks go, I’d give “D.M.B.” a solid 7/10.