Long.Live.A$AP – A$AP Rocky

Listening to New York rapper A$AP Rocky’s sophomore album Long.Live.A$AP from start to finish, I instantly came to one conclusion: A$AP has a lot of potential and he’s using to his advantage. Through the use of his symbolic lyrics, artistic and deft creativity, and effective collaboration, A$AP has enough ethos and energy to power the rap industry this year. Of course, this isn’t Rocky’s first attempt at achieving commercial success and mainstream recognition. In 2011, his excellent debut mixtape Live.Love.A$AP. got attention from both hip hop listeners and critics. Known primarily for his enigmatic material, chill personality, dark themes, and epic free-styling, A$AP Rocky transcends his comfort zone with Long.Live.A$AP, an edgy hip hop album with the right amount of spark and spunk. The title track opener immediately sets the tone of Rocky’s second album: Following a roaring thunder, A$AP Rocky rhymes about money, women, and drugs, which can be categorized as A$AP’s main motifs in his music. Afterwards comes one of A$AP’s strongest tracks, “Goldie,” which was released last year. “Goldie” begins with A$AP’s deep-voiced persona, then transitions into A$AP’s infectious normal-voiced rapping, layered over a electro-drum beat. Another great thing about A$AP’s new album is that it offers a lot of great, new material, such as the fantastic hazy tune, “PMW (All I Need),” the surprising Skrillex-produced electronic jam, “Wild for the Night,” and the posse-filled, “1 Train,” with acclaimed guests Kendrick Lamar, Joey Badass, Yelawolf, Danny Brown, Action Bronson & Big K.R.I.T. However, some of A$AP’s new material might not please fans, especially lazy and dull songs, such as “Lvl,” “Hell” with a disappointing feature of Santigold, “Pain,” and “Suddenly.” But Long.Live.A$AP needs that juxtaposition of mesmerizing and forgettable songs in order to demonstrate how A$AP isn’t a near-perfect rapper, but that he attains the potential to be one. Compared to his previous album Live.Love.A$AP, this new album is much more complex in lyrics and diverse in beats, and A$AP’s character has evolved much more.

Grade: B+
Recommended: Yes
Suggested Tracks: “Long.Live.A$AP,” “Goldie,” “PMW (All I Need), “1 Train”  

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