Posted March 17, 2013
By ELIZABETH DE ARMAS
When it comes to catchy beats and good lyrics, A$AP Rocky has it down packed. His debut album, “Long. Live. A$AP,” is just as lyrically impressive as it is rhythmically striking.
His album, which was released on Jan. 15, is not his debut as a rapper.
The New York native released a debut mixtape in 2011, which led him to tour with two of the most popular rap names in the game right now — Drake and Kendrick Lamar. Next up: Touring with the one and only Rihanna on her Diamonds World Tour.
It also led Drake and Kendrick Lamar, along with other popular names such as Skrillex, 2 Chainz and Florence Welch to collaborate on some of his album songs such as “F***in’ Problems,” “Wild for the Night,” and “I Come Apart” — which is only available in the Deluxe album edition.
All of his album songs (12 in the regular edition, 16 in the deluxe edition) are co-written by him. This, of course, shows his passion and love for this style of music. He raps about his upbringing in Harlem.
He also raps about the usual rap themes: drugs, girls and money. A$AP Rocky was a drug dealer before deciding to leave the street life in pursuit of his passion. The ideas behind A$AP Rocky’s rap music is not what someone would call lyrical genius, but you have to give him credit for being witty and clever — and socially conscious. His raps have a purpose.
Rocky vividly describes what the street life is like. Some artists rap about the hard life when they never really lived it, but Rocky is real with his words. Through his music, listeners can imagine and understand his struggles.
“Long. Live. A$AP” is stamped with the “Parental Advisory Explicit Content” label because every song in his album is filled with curse words and this is not an exaggeration. A$AP Rocky is a potty mouth and although he is not the only rapper with this problem, music doesn’t need to have curse words in it to be meaningful. On the contrary, so much vulgarity and curse words in A$AP Rocky’s album is a definite turn off.
Songs like “Fashion Killa,” “LVL,” and “Wild for the Night,” show how musically talented A$AP Rocky can be. The beats are fresh and new, not like the usual beats we constantly hear on the radio.
“Fashion Killa” is a simple song about a fashionable girl who is always dressed in designer clothing. The lyrics are so simple, but it’s the beat that gets you. It’s not overwhelming and overpowering. Instead, it’s soft and smooth, like something you would expect to hear on an R&B or lyrical hip-hop song.
From the get go, the lyrics in “LVL,” which stands for level, have curse words weaved in in every other line, which I do not particularly like or enjoy. However, the song as a whole is a great collaboration between several beats that alternate from fast to slow, and simple — easy to follow lyrics.
“Wild for the Night” is my favorite track on the album and definitely worth listening to. Skrillex, a hot DJ name in the electronic music industry, collaborated with A$AP Rocky on this track, which adds a different flair to rap music.
Again, not a fan of the vulgarity or the curse words — but a good beat is a good beat.
The 24-year-old rapper is definitely getting attention in the music industry because he collaborated with hot names from the get go. A$AP Rocky is obviously doing something right because he is being noticed and “Long. Live. A$AP.” has sold more than 270,000 copies since it was released. And his hit singles, “Goldie” and “F***in Problems” have made it to the Billboard charts and peaked as high as No. 8.
“Long. Live. A$AP.” is definitely an impressive first album for a rapper. If you’re looking for solid rap music with awesome beats, and don’t mind the cursing and vulgar references, the album is worth buying.
The official album track list of A$AP Rocky’s album, “Long. Live. A$AP.”
- Artist: A$AP Rocky
- Album: “Long. Live. A$AP.”
- Producer: A$AP Worldwide, Polo Grounds Music and RCA Records
- Release Date: Jan. 15, 2013
- Featured Artists: Schoolboy Q, Santigold, OverDoz, Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz, Drake, Big K.R.I.T., Yelawolf, Danny Brown, Action Bronson, Joey Badass, Gunplay, A$AP Ferg and Florence Welch
- Features: Contains vulgar language and profanity, regular album version and deluxe album version available
- Price: $7.99 for regular album download on iTunes, $11.99 for deluxe album download on iTunes, $9.99 on Amazon, $11.99 for regular album and $14.99 for deluxe album at Best Buy stores
- Reviewer Rating: 4 out of 5 stars