Artist: A$AP Rocky
Release Date: January 15th, 2012
Harlem New York is known for starting trends and taking risk, but in mid 2011 when Harlem born rapper A$AP Rocky gained national popularity, everyone from Harlem to California was surprised by his sound and style. With flows reminiscent of Bone-Thugs-N-Harmoney and UGK, it was clear Rocky wasn’t just another Harlem MC lost in translation, chssing a rap cateer. His critically acclaimed mixtape/street album ‘LiveLoveAsap’ spear headed his movement into the offices of all the major labels, and a year and 3 months later we now have ‘Long.Live.Asap’
‘F* that sh**, I brought mobbin back, brought robbin back
Brought the Garden back (Motherf* blackland)
I brought Harlem back’ – Angels
After the Hit Boy Produced banger ‘Goldie’ didn’t do the numbers the labels anticipated, the album was pushed back from it’s initial Halloween release date. The heavy featured single ‘F*ckin Problem’ recently went gold and seemed like it’s just what A$AP needed to get this campaign off the ground.
The first song off the album is the title track, which A$ap recently released a video for which matches it’s eerie, creepy vibe. None the less, Rocky delivers flawlessly and kicks the album off in fashion, no pun intended. The spacey, eerie, feel is pretty consistent throughout the album, from the production to the infections, gap infested hooks. This is a big sigh of relief for old fans of A$AP, as the album doesn’t stray far from his mixtape sound at all.
That being said there is a couple of questionable tracks on the album such as ‘Wildin For the Night’ and ‘I come apart’ which could, arguably be the label ‘reach’ that seems to be mandated on all hip hop albums now a days. None the less, these are just two blown light bulbs in the Las Vegas skyline.
A$ap Ferg makes an appearance on the album on the Gunplay assisted ‘Ghetto Symphony’, in which MMG’s own delivers what I consider to be thee best feature on the album. Considering he received 2 stellar verses from K Dot, one from Schoolboy Q, Action Bronson, Drake, and Joey Bada$$, this wasn’t an easy feat.Pussy, Money, Weed is sure to ring off in hood’s and parties alike, and displays that the Rocky and Q chemistry has not lost a step.
A$APS’s story has so many backdrops. From coming up in Harlem, to his seemingly quick rise to stardom, to his unorthodox musical style compared to New York peers, to his fashion, I think one thing goes unnoticed about the A$AP front man; he can really rap. If you listen to the flows, double time rhymes, and intricate bar patterns, you can easily see he’s no gimmick, and he can really rhyme. Songs like ‘ Suddenly’ ‘Angels’ and ‘Jodye’ display just this.
Is A$AP the New York savior or is he just another hipster crutch with nice clothes? Only time will tell. For now, if you’ve enjoyed the movement so far, this album will be a flawless transition.
Til next time, peace.
Skippable Tracks: Wild for the Night. Hell
Stand out songs: PMW, Ghetto Symphony 1, train