A$AP Rocky Album Review
The 24-year-old Harlem MC known as A$AP Rocky faces his biggest challenge yet: his major label debut. New challenges have manifested for A$AP as he will face the judgment that successful artists ordinarily wouldn’t see until their second or even third album. This is due to the hype-creating mix tape (Live.Love.A$AP) that A$AP put out in 2011 that sent waves throughout the rap/hip hop industry. With all the hype surrounding his recent release, the question begs to be asked: Did A$AP Rocky shake the sophomore slump?
The answer is Long.Live.A$AP, an all-around solid album. A$AP Rocky not only legitimizes himself as a true up-and-comer, but also faces the sophomore challenges head on. With some of the top talented producers in the music industry, such as Danger Mouse and Hit Boy as well as former collaborator, (Long.Live.A$AP) Clams Casino, this album is going to be on multiple playlists in some form throughout the year.
With synth beats reaching to the sky and slow hooks drawing the listener into A$AP’s lyrical prose, the album starts by easing the listener up with its sweet and serene beats. From there, an injection of some EDM shrieks on Wild for the Night from Skrillex, and it reminds the listener that this is an album that A$AP Rocky is letting loose on.
A$AP Rocky attracted some of the top producers, MCs and rappers in the music industry. The list of collaborators includes the likes of Drake, Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz and Yelawolf. These collaborators create another layer of substance to an already full album and with their help, A$AP Rocky looks to be pulling no punches in his debut.
Throughout the tracks, A$AP Rocky gives a smooth cadence of self-boasting, but with an underlying hint of humility as he understands how quickly everything has taken off for him. On many of the tracks, A$AP Rocky marvels at his success, but the track, Suddenly, is the truest song of appreciation for his skyrocketing career. “My idols say, ‘What’s up’ to me.” The future may see many of A$AP Rocky’s idols giving him praise if he continues to put out the quality that he showed on his debut, the aptly titled Long.Live.A$AP.
Although A$AP's debut album is a work that most artists strive for; at times, it felt as if he tried to hard to recreate the magic he produced on his mix tape (Live.Love.A$AP). With the inability to fully come out from the shadow that was created by the mix tape, A$AP seemed to re-hash what made it such a "breath of fresh air," and in doing so failed to realize his true potential as an artist. With all things considered, this is still a great debut album and it will be interesting to see what A$AP does in the future.
Top Tracks: Goldie, 1Train, F—kin’ Problems, Wild for the Night