As being the first album of 2013 to be reviewed, it feels fitting to try and get one out as fast as possible. A$AP Rocky has really created a name for himself over the past year. With Live Long A$AP having some great singles and moments, you expect big things from this up-and-comer. His beef with Raider Klan makes the entire lead up to this album that much more. Long.Live.A$AP is a pretty pretentious way to name an album, as the only difference from the debut release is adding in a few periods and swapping the words around. Nonetheless, A$AP promised to bring his A-game for this album.
It opens up with an appropriately named track which is the same as the album. It’s pretty hard-hitting and has a solid beat, but the Beach House-esque chorus feels like it’s weirdly placed. Like most A$AP songs, there’s voice fluctuation, and the tempo change really gives the song some oomph. Next up is the hit single, ‘Goldie’. The Hit-Boy production is easily one of the top highlights of this entire album. It’s very hard not to sway and rock with this track. It’s so hard-hitting and intense that you always end up moving with the polyrhythmic melody in the background.
A$AP has a lot of surprising collaborations here. Skrillex, Santigold, and Action Bronson surprised me, primarily because it seemed like they wouldn’t want to get involved with songs that throw around disses like no tomorrow. The usual collaborations are here with Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz, Danny Brown, Schoolboy Q, and Big K.R.I.T. all making their mark. Schoolboy Q lays down a solid verse on the third track, ‘PMW’, and Skrillex produces a solid track, ‘Wild For A Night’, but it seems to end there. A lot of help wasn’t needed on this album, and I was hoping for more A$AP sticking to his roots of a buck style party rap.
I apologize, that isn’t what he always does, but you cannot get away with saying “A$AP Rocky’s music doesn’t work at parties.” The fact is that it does. It’s just too bad he doesn’t do it as much on this album. He tries new things like on the song, ‘Fashion Killa’, but it falls flat at that. ‘Train’ ends up working as a throwback to the 90’s New-York rap scene, but a lot of the tracks don’t fit as well together. You’re given songs with ambient style beats and songs with a trap style beat. It feels like a roller coaster that requires you to wait in line every time you want to go for another ride.
A$AP Rocky has his moments on Long.Live.A$AP, but it’s outweighed by the slow and filler moments of the album. ‘Goldie’, ‘Hell’, ‘Train’, and ‘Phoenix’ are highlights and I’ll continue to listen to those, but it doesn’t have enough replay value for me to enjoy this album continuously. A$AP Rocky has a lot of time left to hone his craft, and he’ll continue to do so.