ASAP Rocky
LongLiveA$AP


2.0
poor

Review

by Maxwell USER (1 Reviews)
January 26th, 2013 | 14 replies | 1,792 views


Release Date: 01/15/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Rocky gon' spit it like Andre, I'm goin' kill it like Big Boi. Got rappers on my entre, eat em like COOKIES... CHIPS AHOY!

6 of 10 thought this review was well written

When I hear the bonus track “Ghetto Symphony”, the flaws in A$AP Rocky, and ultimately his album Long Live A$AP, become very explicitly clear. A$AP isn't a bad rapper, he has a very good handle on rhythm. However, what is the main concern of his rapping is the content. Themes are repeated – his mouth is full of gold, name drops of classic rappers, all of it done in a way that doesn't too much. Now compare that to verses by Gunplay and even A$AP Ferg. Gunplay comes off like an aggressive drill Sargent, raging “'til my cardiacs arrested and my 40 oz is empty/show me what you owe me and a porterhouse with that”. Now the comparison may be unfair; Gunplay has made some of the best rap anthems in the last year with his ideal mixture of the aggression of Waka Flocka with a touch of Young Dro-isms, but lets be a little more fair in the world of comparisons. A$AP Ferg hops on the track yelling about how he's going to eat rappers “like cookies – chips ahoy!”. It's not a great line, especially it follows an Outkast name-drop that aligns with Rocky's, but hip hop is also a lot about how a rapper will say the things that he says. And in the case of A$AP Ferg, joy overflows when he's rapping because we get the sense Ferg enjoys rapping. We don't get that sense from A$AP Rocky on this track, as Rocky prefers to live his existence in this post-Drake post-Jay world of dissociation from joy.

That's always a bit concerning considering where he began as a rapper: On his first mixtape Live Love A$AP, he gave shouts out to Lil B, a rapper whose sole goal of his music is to make himself and his listeners joyous. Lil B was enormously sloppy when it came to writing, sometimes when you read the lyrics you could feel when he just put the pen down and took a break before he got back to it, and you never get the sense of that connection again. At the same time though, Lil B was passionate about the music he was making. In much the same way was a lot of Live Love A$AP. It definitely wasn't the perfect release: while A$AP Rocky's immaculate, snake-like flow was in tact, he wore his influences on his sleeve very clearly, and his themes never really deviated too much. Add to that the undefined persona and you get a sense of a rapper who has some ideas of what he wants to do as a rapper, but sounds more like a culmination of his favorite artists and his words more a culmination of his favorite things, never getting into the man himself. Luckily, throughout Live Love A$AP, there are beautifully created beats, and one of the strengths of an A$AP Rocky is his ability to bounce of a beat and feel the instruments environment. Clams Casino's lighter than air, but darkly toned atmosphere also balanced the lyrical ideas that A$AP Rocky often likes to bounce around. It was a match made in heaven.

When one listens to Long Live A$AP, however, the days of Clams Casino are gone, and so are his instrumental ingenuity. The title track is probably the best song on the album, with an instrumental that feels as if it was dipped in haunted house strings, which benefits perfectly to the outer image of A$AP Rocky that he has managed to create for himself. Other than that, we have the other major stand-out on the actual album, the last track in “Suddenly”, which is a track that has a sample that sounds like a classic hip hop track, but its stripped of its classic drum structure and is instead torn apart into its little part. It builds up to a climatic point that Rocky defines. It's one of those few moments where we see some true subtly and song-writing ideas from Rocky, who defines himself in a very traditionalist manner in spite of some of his outward appearances and influences.

Now, it would be very easy to tear apart the album from track to track, but rather, it would be better to approach it from an overall perspective. In between the title track and “Suddenly”, so much goes ary. At most points, when Rocky is given a half baked instrumental that clunks around, he will also clunk around. It's all a lot of non-ideas. Instead of following the sound of Live Love A$AP, he allows the album to dip into gimmickry. We hear everything, from dub-step gone haywire (“Wild For The Night”), Drake goofs (“PMW”, “***in Problem”), and, oddly enough, Odd Future copycats (“Pain”). Danger Mouse is given “Phoenix”, and as he tends to do when nobody is paying attention to who he is collaborating with, he falls into the background. A$AP Rocky is very charismatic, and that is one of the reasons why he is actually one of the better points of the album, but nothing he says or none of how he says it can lift this track list of duds.

Nobody is claiming Live Love A$AP to be a classic, but its actually a much more realized release. Sure, influences run amok, but there is a vision of where he wanted to go with the sound: a Houston hard head with a fetish for airy instrumentals on the now and then. In much the same way as fellow swagger 2 Chainz, he abandoned aesthetic for fame, and ended up with an album that rings hollow and unmemorable. Oddly enough, the albums best moment comes from 2 Chainz, whose howl on “***in Problems” is more soulful and more pained than any of the symbolic posing or suicidal doors that any of A$AP's lyrics do. That's hard for me to say, considering how much of a dud 2 Chainz was on his own album after years of strong appearances on other peoples songs.


user ratings (548)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
Benjamino Jackanory (3)
Rocky's rapping ability is sealed here as a promising talent. Unfortunately, this potential would fe...

Nathan Flynn CONTRIBUTOR (4.5)
A$AP Rocky silences the doubters and shows that yes, he will live long...

BrianE (3.5)
A$AP Rocky shows he's not to be trifled with on major label debut...

Sobhi Youssef EMERITUS (3.8)
Ridin on my enemies, this my Ghetto Symphony...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Buzzkillr
January 26th 2013



1541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

well written but I completely disagree with you

and lol:

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Tupik
January 26th 2013



671 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Very good review imo, especially for a first Even though I do not agree with any of it except for a
few points, I see where you're going here. Have a pos

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kingsoby1
Emeritus
January 26th 2013



4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Negd, reads like a rant. Also spell check bro

Sleaper
January 26th 2013



3365 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

"When I hear the bonus track “Ghetto Symphony”, the flaws in A$AP Rocky become very explicitly clear"

woah.. there is actually a hater of ghetto symphony? wow.

Digging: Caribou - Our Love

MalleusMaleficarum
January 26th 2013



14294 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

well the only thign that song has going for it is the production so

MalleusMaleficarum
January 26th 2013



14294 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"A$AP Ferg hops on the track yelling about how he's going to eat rappers “like cookies – chips ahoy!”."

no, actually, you're wrong. that line is in Gunplays verse.

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
January 26th 2013



9033 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Why is an entire paragraph about a bonus track?

ItsMaxwell
January 26th 2013



11 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"A$AP Ferg hops on the track yelling about how he's going to eat rappers “like cookies – chips
ahoy!”."

no, actually, you're wrong. that line is in Gunplays verse.


You're an absolute, unbelievable moron if you think that's Gunplay's verse, but if you're trolling me,
good one.

Also, because it illustrates a bigger point about Rocky as a rapper.

ItsMaxwell
January 26th 2013



11 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Negd, reads like a rant. Also spell check bro


Probably right, and good point, i'll look through it with that spell check in mind.

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
January 26th 2013



9033 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

rapgenius confirms it's Ferg's verse. Sorry Malleus.

MalleusMaleficarum
January 26th 2013



14294 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i thought the last guy was gunplay just because he sounds coked out

MalleusMaleficarum
January 26th 2013



14294 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

not like i care because all 3 verses on that song suck balls

char504
January 30th 2013



14 Comments


"too trill for you." haha. love the title track http://vevo.ly/VYkB6w

ZuluFlow
February 14th 2013



2 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

most tracks are ok - if you dig ASAP you'll dig this. if you don't you'll probably hate it. nothing sonically or lyrically mindblowing - but kid is doing his thing



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