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A$AP Rocky “LongLiveA$AP” – Album Review

A$AP Worldwide/Polo Grounds/RCA (2013)

DAT PMF is riding high off hot singles, major features, high fashion and top of the line mixtapes. A$AP (Always $trive And Prosper Rocky, to some) is an eccentric MC who hails from Harlem, NY but sounds like he’s from Texas. Nevertheless, this young rapper has made major headway into the game and brought his A$AP Crew along for the ride. Rocky’s major label debut, LongLiveA$AP, is now out in the wild. Is this the standout album A$AP Rocky fans have been clamoring for? The answer is yes.

For anyone who follows Harlem’s new face of rap, they should already know that he’s prone to hop on the hottest beats in existence. With this album, Rocky sticks to his tried and true formula of spacey beats and boom bap bangers. Longtime producer Clams Casino helps Rocky enter a different realm of music on the trill tracks “LVL” and “Hell,” both of which please the ears and send listeners into a super chill mood, all while Rocky flows about his pretty boy lifestyle, highlighted nicely by Clam’s otherworldly production.

Rocky’s guest featured songs bump ever so hard on this album. “F****n’ Problems,” featuring the all-star rap cast of 2 Chainz, Drake and Kendrick Lamar, is an unforgettable single. “1 Train,” is tailor made for underground concert stages and super hype cypher sessions as A$AP enlists today’s current crop of super MC’s – Joey Bada$$, Kendrick Lamar, Yelawolf, Action Bronson, Danny Brown and Big K.R.I.T. – for a gutter battle royale session. “PMW” featuring SchoolBoy Q is another ill track that heads back into that screwed up, slowed down territory.

Rocky shows his knack for working outside the rap/hip-hop box by hooking up with dubstep music producer Skrillex for the track “Wild for the Night.” This experiment is a success, thanks to Skrillex’s insanely catchy beat and Rocky’s swagged out lyrics. His low toned voice and normal pitched vocals combine well here. Everyone from the backpackers to the dance club goers will enjoy every minute of this party theme.

That being said, A$AP Rocky’s lyrics don’t shine quite as bright as the overall production on this album. Although his laid back flow is fun to listen to, his subject matter starts to grow boring after about 5 or so songs. It becomes apparent that Rocky needs to spit about something other than expensive clothes, b*****s and ho’s and trill living–a fact made even more apparent after hearing “Phoenix,” an expressive cut that actually shows Rocky’s potential to move into deeper material.

All told, LongLiveA$AP will make A$AP Rocky fans proud. Rocky’s eclectic tastes in music are front and center; the beats equal first-class production, and Rocky lends his signature flow to them with ease. Although his lyrics don’t matter much later on in the record, Rocky still succeeds off his cool demeanor. So trill.

Rating: 4 / 5 stars

4 / 5 stars     

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About the Author

on MUSIC IS MY OXYGEN WEEKLY.

Elton Jones (no relation to the guy who sings "Bennie and The Jets") is a huge fan of rap, hip-hop and R&B. His favorite artists range from golden era rap crews such as A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul, to today's current rap stars like Big Sean and Kendrick Lamar. Elton appreciates every facet of the urban music genre and follows the major developments that are made within the industry. Elton obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Saint Augustine's College in 2010. With his degree in hand, he now looks to make a lasting impact in the world of music journalism. He also hopes to attend a SXSW and Rock The Bells concert someday.

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Posted in: Album Reviews, Featured, Hip Hop Music


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