ASAP Rocky
Live.Love.A$AP.


4.0
excellent

Review

by Cam EMERITUS
November 18th, 2011 | 1636 replies | 61,639 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: ASAP Rocky’s long-in-the-making LiveLoveA$AP is simply one of the best hip-hop records of the year.

ASAP Rocky’s meteoric rise in the past few months is certainly one of the most out-of-nowhere success stories of 2011. Known for little more than guest spots on mixtapes by left-field artists such as Main Attrakionz, ASAP began to garner significant attention for his songs “Peso” and “Purple Swag,” the latter becoming a certifiable Internet smash. Since then, the songs have received regional radio play (ASAP’s from Harlem), and ASAP later found himself on tour with Drake and signing an unbelievable $3 million deal with RCA.

That’s simply a staggering amount of money, clearly enough, especially considering the sorry state of the music industry, coupled with how far LiveLoveA$AP is from sounding remotely like dance-friendly mainstream hip-hop. All of LiveLoveA$AP is mid-paced, the beats (courtesy of up-and-comers Clams Casino and Spaceghost Purrp, amongst others) are dreamy and hazy, neatly falling in with the “cloud-rap” aesthetic established by artists like G-Side and Main Attrakionz. Honestly, the production choices are easily LiveLoveA$AP’s strongest feature: every beat, from the sad, Burial/Swarms-esque “Demons” to the swagged-out, chopped-and-screwed funk of “Trilla,” is uniformly excellent. Producer Clams Casino particularly shines: his beats for “Palace,” “Bass,” and “Wassup” are simply gorgeous, splicing downbeat vocal samples over hypnotizing, ambient synths and typical hip-hop drum tracks. The result are dreamy beats that amplify ASAP’s effortless flow, but also stand out in their own right.

The relative sameness of the production gives LiveLoveA$AP a uniform aesthetic, but one also gets the feeling that ASAP’s also simply more predisposed to rapping over thudding, mid-tempo beats than anything else. His flow is tempered but never lazy, simply sounding natural and effortless and likeable. The popular comparison to Odd Future rapper Hodgy Beats is appropriate, if Hodgy smoked a lot more weed and didn’t get bogged down by tired shock-rap tropes. ASAP’s lyrics are never more than serviceable--he doesn’t really deviate from typical subjects like having sex and getting high--but they never need to be: ASAP’s shortcomings as a lyricist are tempered by his excellent beat selection and his laid-back, personable flow.

Ultimately, that’s where LiveLoveA$AP’s success as an album truly lies. The dreamy beats, the haggard production, the confident and chilled braggadocio--it all combines to create a very particular aesthetic, perfect for late night drives or dank smoke sessions, and the album doesn’t have any higher ambitions than perfectly fitting these particular situations. There’s just simply a purpose to the whole of LiveLoveA$AP, and that kind of focus is something to be celebrated.



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user ratings (537)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
plane
Staff Reviewer
November 18th 2011



6094 Comments


Great, concise review, Cam. You nailed it. This album has displaced Main Attrakionz as my go-to lately. Good year for hip-hop.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 18th 2011



23806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice review. this album is pretty cool, the production is outstanding.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 18th 2011



23806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

in the rec'd by reviewer section "Main Attraktions" should end in a 'z'

joshuatree
Emeritus
November 18th 2011



3743 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks lew, figured this would be something you'd dig. and yeah, this is been one the better and I
guess more interesting years for hip-hop in a while

and ah shit i kept spelling it wrong when i was writing the review too

Hep Kat
November 18th 2011



15347 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah this is ok

Digging: Botany Boyz - Forever Botany

MalleusMaleficarum
November 18th 2011



14287 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

personable flow?

AlexTM510
November 18th 2011



1400 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

the production is absolutely boss but his raps are just not doing it for me

Digging: Sadistik - Ultraviolet

gaslightanthem
November 18th 2011



5209 Comments


didn't really like what i heard on youtube
production was nice though

Sleaper
November 18th 2011



3364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

nice review man!. awesome album. definatley one of my fav hip hop releases of the year.

Digging: Caribou - Our Love

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 18th 2011



23806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"the production is absolutely boss but his raps are just not doing it for me"

yeah, this. i still really like the album because it sounds so sexy but his rapping is just kind of forgettable for me. it's weird, I'm not getting the hype on any of the hyped "experimental" hip-hop from this year (this, Shabazz Palaces, Main Attrakionz)

Sleaper
November 18th 2011



3364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Brand new guy is my hip hop song of the year. this has to be one of the best years for hip hop in my life.

MalleusMaleficarum
November 18th 2011



14287 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yeah if youre looking for lyricism you wont like it

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
November 18th 2011



15016 Comments


demons rules

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
November 18th 2011



7326 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This sounds interesting.

Polymath
November 18th 2011



3836 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Production is so brilliant, got damn.

qwe3
November 18th 2011



21355 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Love the smoky feel to the beats. Prob fav hip hop of the yr. Dudes flow is so versatile

Polymath
November 18th 2011



3836 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm not digging the flow as much but it's not too shabby. And I totally agree with you on the smoky
feel to the beats. 'Bass' is my jam.

SeaAnemone
November 18th 2011



20027 Comments


definitely one of my favorites of the year.
review does it justice, too.

the opening pair are probably my favorite tracks

Digging: Natural Snow Buildings - The Night Country

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
November 18th 2011



7326 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ok guys I've not heard nearly enough hip hop this year, Cunninlynguists and Jay-Z/Kanye have been the only things I've really enjoyed. What are the essentials?

Sleaper
November 18th 2011



3364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

main attrakionz. lil b. new drake is aight too.



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