A$AP Rocky : LONG.LIVE.A$AP.
Hailing from Harlem, this Houston influenced rapper seduced audiences with his chopped and screwed sound off the release of his mixtape LiveLoveA$AP in 2011. After an epic label bidding war, RCA Records won the rights to his highly anticipated debut album. Let it be said that A$AP Rocky has firmly stated he wishes to be a great artist, and not necessarily the greatest rapper of his time. LONG.LIVE.A$AP comes at a time when new school hip hop is being looked at through a fresh lens since the release of his frequent collaborator Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, M.A.A.D City. Lyrical prowess is once more at the forefront of hip hop and with a release only three months behind the album that raised the bar for everyone, it would be easy to turn a blind eye to what A$AP Rocky has achieved.
Teaming up with artists from many different fronts of music, A$AP boasts collaborations from Skrillex, to Santigold, to Florence Welch. He has picked up where Kanye left at My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Where the album does not scratch beneath the lyrical surface, A$AP excels with an ear for haunting and strong beats. The highlight track is Goldie. With Hit-Boy production the Paleolithic beat is layered with his signature metallic synthesisers. A$AP’s just-right flow and comically dark lyrics including “N***as talk shit ‘til they get lock jaw/Chrome to ya jaw ‘til you get glockjaw” he reminds us that he’s one of hip hop’s golden boys. Fuckin’ Problems follows in hot pursuit with a strong collaboration between A$AP, 2 Chainz, Drake and Kendrick Lamar.
BY TAMARA VOGL
Best Track: Goldie
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: KENDRICK LAMAR, KANYE WEST
In A Word: Captivating