A$AP Rocky - Long.Live.A$AP - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

A$AP Rocky - Long.Live.A$AP

by Greg Spencer Rating:7.5 Release Date:2013-01-14

Long awaited for some, A$AP Rocky's debut studio album brings a fresh yet somnolent and overproduced feel. It remains interesting apart from a few damp squibs which may just bring the hype down to earth. Long.Live.A$AP follows the New Yorker's debut release, a mixtape aptly named Live.Love.A$AP which gained a fair amount of attention and critical praise. This record opens with the title track and it's here where we realise Rocky's style: Although his rapping in this opener is more frenetic than usual, his tone is laidback and sluggish.

That isn't really the case on the subsequent track 'Goldie'. Yeah, there's the signature slowed-down vocal which features plenty on this record but the overall pacing is perfect. It may be the best track on the record, and at such an early point you pray that A$AP Rocky isn't peaking too early.

There's really good use of the guest performers on this record. Early on, we hear Schoolboy Q, who gives 'PMW (All I Really Need)' energy and vivacity and Santigold on 'Hell', who adds class to what is a down-tempo filler. These sorts of guest-vocals give the record a variation it might not have shown if it were just Rocky filling the space alone. There's a purpose. Skrillex features on 'Wild For The Night' and it isn't even that much of a dubstep track, but the electronics are utilised perfectly. The best addition, however, is the inclusion of Drake and Kendrick Lamar on 'Fuckin Problems'. A killer track which gives the record more credibility, it's a great move by Rocky to have this sort of collaboration.

The great thing about this record is that, even though there's plenty of collaborations on it, it never feels simply like a guest-list. There's no sense that, like on a ton of hip hop records, Rocky is just bringing a load of his friends in to feature for the sake of it. There's a purpose.

The problems with the record come out of A$AP Rocky's own style. His at times lethargic rapping and the slow pacing of the majority of the songs do cause a problem for people who prefer to dance rather than kick back. An influx of speed and effervescence is what would make this record stand out, because A$AP Rocky could be the next big thing, there just needs to be a little more uniqueness to make him shine.

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