A$AP Rocky 

Long.Live.A$AP

In "Suddenly," a track on 24-year-old Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky's long-awaited major label debut, Long.Live.A$AP, Rocky warns audiences Don't view me as no conscious cat/this ain't no conscious rap. For haters of the "estrogeneration" (aka softening) of hip-hop, Rocky provides an album of catchy anthems about gang banging, lifestyle brands, and luxury goods — women and otherwise.

While hardly inspired in his themes, Rocky proves himself a versatile rapper and producer. Pulling from a hodgepodge of genres like Houston screw music and trip-hop, he creates a cohesive album from discordant elements. And whether he's triple-time rhyming in "PMW (All I Really Need)" or crooning a funereal ballad in "Suddenly," Rocky's flow is flawless.

That said, he doesn't supersede the rap formula. The album is a string of hopeful radio singles — aided by collaborations with everyone from Kendrick Lamar and 2 Chainz to electronic heavyweights Skrillex and Clams Casino. The much-blogged-about Skrillex collaboration, "Wild for the Night," is a lazy and uninspired reggae dance number. And on "Phoenix," Rocky's discussion of suicide — his sole attempt at the conscious rap he swears off — is the lyrical equivalent of nails on a chalkboard, saved only by Danger Mouse's soulful emo hook.

On his 2011 breakthrough mixtape Live.Love.A$AP, Rocky declared himself the prince of New York hip-hop. Long.Live.A$AP will earn him a seat at the throne — however temporary. (RCA)

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Latest in CD Reviews

Author Archives

Most Popular Stories

Special Reports

Taste, Spring 2015

Everything you need to know about dining in and out in the East Bay.

Insider's Guide 2015

Everything you need to know about the East Bay's hidden shopping, nightlife, dining, annual events, and more.

© 2015 East Bay Express    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation