Sunday, January 6, 2013

"Extraordinary SWAG & a Mouth Full of Gold:" A$AP Rocky - LONGLIVEA$AP (Early Review)

Depending on who you ask, LONGLIVEA$AP is easily the most progressive/digressive Hip-Hop album of the last 5-10 years! A$AP Rocky sprinkles in stylistic touches [musical nods] to Public Enemy's youthful rebellion, Wu-Tang Clan's expert swordsmen-ship, Beastie Boys' "Fight for Your Right to Party" mentality, and Kanye's worldly fashion sense throughout the record. While it leaked back in early December nearly a full month a head of it's impending Jan. 15th release date, it's the sheer power of featured rappers and producers that's either gonna make or break the eventual fate of LONGLIVEA$AP. Shit, almost 1/2 of the album's rapping friends are housed on 2 MASSIVE posse cuts, "F*ckin' Problems" and "1 Train:" Action Bronson, Danny Brown, Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Drake, Yelawolf, Big K.R.I.T. and 2 Chainz. Florence [-The Machine], Gunplay, Pharrell, Gucci Mane, and Waka Flocka's assorted talents are all evenly spread across 5 bonus tracks.

I'm guessing A$AP Rocky must've made some serious phone calls, cause he managed to rope in beats from all across the Hip-Hop spectrum, Cloud Rap-Dubstep? We're talking heavy-hitters like Clams Casino, Hit-Boy, Noah "40" Shebib, Emile (Kid Cudi), Danger Mouse, and Skrillex! "Wild for The Night" was recorded on a whim @ Skrillex's home studio one night after a WILD rave/show, the track's a great mid-album break, and it's most likely genre-blending single #4. LONGLIVEA$AP does what any great debut album should. I mean, it's solid Hip-Hop through and through... But Rocky really manages to show his versatility as a young rapper artist: hanging out with Grammy-winning Indie Rockers, KILLING Boom-Bap 808 beats, crafting "Jersey Shore"-ready EDM bangers, etc. If you're looking for some introspective [Conscious] Hip-Hop, you're in the wrong place; But this is one Hell of a weekend PARTY-starting record that'll most def make Sony/Polo Grounds Music back that reported $3 million advance ha.

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