Review: A$AP Rocky – “LongLiveA$AP”



A$AP Rocky

Sony/RCA – January 15th 2013
By Elyse Hill (@elyselikeswords)
Find it at: iTunes | Insound | HMV Digital





Of all the titles A$AP Rocky holds – self-declared or appointed – “lyrical genius” is not one of them. His debut album LongLiveA$AP instead spills an impeccable taste for infectious beats and flawlessly organized recordings proving the Harlem native is much more of a mastermind than his words would allude. Lavish production on the album’s title track, surprisingly successful laser fills next to Skrillex (“Wild For The Night”) and coordinated efforts with young MCs (“1Train”) not only recall the imagery of his previous mixtape, but take it a step further by creating an environment of absolute servitude. Where the 24-year-old drops an unexpected falsetto on a hook, he also manages to contrast aggressive verses with hypnotic loops and ensures a well-hyped immortality through the sounds on the other end that do nothing short of befriend your attention.

While his tape efforts relied on just a few production credits, A$AP diverges by using a plethora of producers to give the album a varied sound that can reach unfathomable emotional depths (“Phoenix”) or act as catchy, easier listens (“Fashion Killa”). Though he’s quick to profess his inclination for rose gold and expensive women, he maintains a balance with reality-centered verses that embrace his struggle with the environment he grew up in, making another dose of droned-out Clams Casino beats legitimate Polaroids of his starkly changed life (“LVL”, “Hell”). Rocky may not consider himself a conscious rapper – especially when his ingenuity circles around a trifecta of fashion, hardcore and mainstream audiences – but his unpredictability and untouchable pride would be quick to make you think otherwise.

Listen: “1Train”, “Phoenix”, “PMW (All I Really Need)” || Watch: A$AP Rocky – Long Live A$AP”

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