After being touted as Rap’s next big thing, following his outstanding debut mixtape LiveLoveA$AP, one cannot help but to be dragged into the on going debate regarding Rocky’s debut album and whether or not Long.Live.A$AP will live up to its hype.
I am a massive fan of A$AP Rocky and I expected great things from this album; but, quite honestly I feel slightly let down. By no means is this a bad album – in fact it’s quite enjoyable – but lets be real A$AP you made some questionable decisions!
Why did he let Skrillex anywhere near “Wild For The Night”? That song had the potential to be amazing. What was his thought process behind that decision? Was he like – “I know this sounds really good right now, but let’s ruin it by making Skrillex put some weird noises all over it”. Perhaps I could bare the song if it was a bonus track but its current location just feels plain wrong. It breaks up the entire flow of the album.
Another song that made me question A$AP’s decisions - Was ”Fashion Killa”. Seriously what the hell is this? Let me rephrase that a tiny bit. It’s not the worst song in history per say; in fact, it has the ability to be a really good song. It has a great beat and A$AP raps over the beat confidently. But the actual lyrics need major work. Especially the hook: “Her pistol gold, Her pistol gold, I said her pistol gold, Cause she a fashion killa, and I’m a trendy nigga”. That’s something I would expect from Riff Raff, definitely not A$AP Rocky.
Normally I don’t like debut albums that have tons of guest features solely because it seems gimmicky. When I read the tracklist for Long.Live.A$AP, I felt that A$AP chose these features to perhaps cash in on the other rappers fame - to build even more hype for Long Live. To my surprise, the features here actually work. The album does not sound over saturated with guests. The star studded “1train” featuring Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Danny Brown, Big Kirt, Action Bronson and Yelawolf (the one person it could have done without) was absolutely fantastic.
For me the standout tracks featured A$AP only. They had all the aesthetics which sparked my interest and support of A$AP Rocky in the first place. These include: the title track “Long Live A$AP”, “Phoenix”, “Jodye“ and my favorite track on the album ”LVL”. Although these songs are quite good they were not what I expected. I yearned for Long.Live.A$AP to be a more personal body of work.
I wanted to get to know the real Rakim Mayers (A$AP Rocky). The boy who lost his father to the correctional system; the impact his brothers death had on him - and how it was his brother that made him want to pursue rap. I also wanted to hear about his experience living in homeless shelters to growing up to becoming one of the most sought after rappers today. A$AP briefly gets more personal in “Suddenly”; he discusses how his newfound fame has finally offered a form of stability into his life. But while Suddenly is intriguing it does not offer much into the mind of A$AP.
Naturally for most people those would be extremely hard topics to talk about. However for an artist, these deep stories have obviously impacted everyday life and it would be only natural to share that with us on a debut album.
Overall I enjoyed the songs individually. But, there is no cohesion to the record. It’s a collection of decent tracks without the ambiance Live Love had. I am still not quite sure what A$AP’s overall message with this album was? What I gathered from it, we all basically already knew. He’s got dope rhymes; he gets tons of girls and loves fashion - that pretty much sums up Long Lives content. On a serious note this would be a great mix-tape but not an outstanding album by any means. I give you A$AP Rocky, three stars out of five.