“Every track emanates a distinct sense of purpose and undeniable creativity. Each track stands out with a distinctive sound, beat, and story….”
A$AP Rocky | Long.Love.A$AP
Born into a culture of hip hop, Harlem rapper ASAP Rocky reflects the culture in both name and spirit, as he was named after hip hop legend Rakim and began rapping at the age of eight. Although preceded by a flurry of mix tapes, which fostered ASAP’s growing success and fan base, LongLiveA$AP will be ASAP’s debut album. Intense anticipation has been mounting, as ASAP promoted the album with the LongLiveA$AP tour and singles ‘Fuckin’ Problems’ and ‘Goldie’ despite repeated delays in the release date of his first studio album.
These delays, which have been attributed to copyright holders stalling grants of permission, reflect the deeply creative quality of the album that ASAP describes as “out of this world.” Featuring over seventeen artist collaborations – including Santigold, Drake, Florence Welch, and Skrillex – LongLiveA$AP presents an incredibly diverse set of sounds. ASAP himself dubs the album “complete.”
Indeed, the album feels complete. LongLiveA$AP is characteristically rough and raw, but paradoxically refined. Tracks like ‘Jodye,’ hard and haunting, contrast with tracks like ‘Fashion Killa,’ lighter and catchy. Contrasts pervade through the album, especially in the additional songs of the deluxe addition – take ‘Ghetto Symphony’ for example, which combines a symphony-like synthesized violin with raw drum beats and tough raps. In fact, all of ASAP’s tracks feature contrasting sounds that are sickly unexpected and completely refreshing, preventing any listener from dozing off from yet another album full of lyrics detailing the typical hard-knock, pimped out rap game.
LongLiveA$AP is not an album that’s all about the pussy, money and weed. While there are certainly tracks about the more superficial topics that typically sell rap albums (see ‘PMW (All I Really Need)’), some tracks on LongLiveA$AP provide deep, intense insight into who ASAP is. ‘Phoenix,’ slow, even sad, but undeniably infectious, conveys disillusionment; ‘Suddnely’ feels nostalgic; and ‘Jodye’ imparts ASAP’s fervent spirit of loyalty and fierceness.
While it is not uncommon for albums to have filler tracks, LongLiveA$AP doesn’t falter – every track emanates a distinct sense of purpose and undeniable creativity. Each track stands out with a distinctive sound, beat, and story. In an attempt not to sound completely reverent and perhaps help out the reader who is on a budget, only tragically able to purchase a few tracks, ‘Phoenix,’ ‘Fashion Killa,’ ‘Wild for the Night,’ and ‘Ghetto Symphony’ (oh, and ‘Long Live A$AP’) are the gems of what is truly an insane album.
To be succinct, ASAP Rocky was right to refuse editing tracks in order to meet release dates, LongLiveA$AP does sound out of this world.