A$AP Rocky had the hearts of a young nation well before his album was leaked a couple months ago. Sporting tight braids, and a golden grill, his life growing up in Harlem and injecting the A$AP Mob into SoHo has created quiet the successful endeavor.
Rocky's real name is Rakim Mayers, named after Rakim of the mighty duo, Eric B. and Rakim. The A$AP moniker however, comes from his crew of fellow rappers, music producers, and other music industry elements. Rocky made music a full time endeavor into music after his father went to the big house when the rapper was 12 years old. A year later, his brother would be killed, forcing Rocky into taking music much more seriously. Now, we see Rocky's debut album, Long.Live.A$AP step into light.
On the track Suddenly, Rocky swears his work isn't conscious rap, but his interviews, particularly this one, is making him a hero. Whether he wants to admit it or not, talking to black youth about his white girlfriend is a particularly touchy subject in the (majority) black community. There's a reason you see black women pissed at us when we date a white woman in a Tyler Perry movie. Everything on this album is being soaked up by the young hip hop heads of the world, and I think that's a good thing.
With an overall theme of an autobiography of Rocky's\A$AP Mob's life thus far, he is joined by a wealth of rap's youngest, best and brightest. You know about PMW featuring ScHoolBoy Q, and the 2012 jam, Fuckin' Problems featuring Drake, Kendrick Lamar and the not-so-young 2 Chainz. Even Skrillex gets down on Wild for the Night. The A$AP Mob keeps the purple syrup vibe alive in several songs on the album, whilst dropping dozens of endearing "Uhh!!" 's and "Yeah!!" 's in the background. Of course, the classic chopped and screwed filter is applied to said phrases, and again, this is a good thing.
My first favorite on the album lies at its end. Suddenly caught my attention with its ability to paint a scene. The idea of explaining how you rose to fame is nothing new, but the mood of the track made this a fresh take. Old school vibe with a chorus crooning the song's title beautifully in the background lets you participate in the dreamy, hazy world of the A$AP Mob. If Rocky writes songs, Suddenly stands out as more of a poem in the song's first half.
Fuckin' Problems is a no-brainer favorite for anyone who even has a remote interest in rap music. From that catchy ass chorus, to the sexy synth-bass, this song has even grown men singing "Ooooooh!" in the song's intro. For me, this song was important in restoring my faith in Drake's ability to kill a verse. Drake and Kendrick are perfect counterparts on the verses of this loud-in-the-car favorite, spreading their deadly regional fires into the new trifecta. Hell, 2 Chainz was even there to bless it.
After dozens of playthroughs, LVL remained at the top of my list. Produced by the mighty Clams Casino, this track is what I want to hear while cruising through downtown Los Angeles with the windows down. The song is built for those under the influence, and plays heavily on the dreamlike state of Promethazine and Sprite mixture. Yelling chopped and screwed words throughout the song, coupled with the tale of adventure to success put this song in any hustler's motivation music playlist. This song defines most clearly what life in the A$AP Mob is like.
I'm looking forward to the career of A$AP Rocky, and would hope to catch him touring on Rihanna's Diamonds Tour April 8th and 9th. Data lovers have had the album since its leak, but for you Spotify users, the full Deluxe edition of Long.Live.A$AP is available now.
Until next time my friends,