Long Live A$AP: My Experience with A$AP Rocky
Despite being delayed from its original release date of October 31, (A$AP was quoted as saying, “The issue with my album is I got things on it that’s so out of this world that it’s taking so long to get mastered. That’s the issue, and I refuse to take anything off. It’s complete, everything is being mastered and cleared right now.” – from www.contactmusic.com) the highly anticipated Long Live A$AP is set to be officially released this coming Tuesday, January 15. However, like most music these days, the songs have been floating around the internet for a solid month and I’ve listened to it enough to say with certainty that I’m sold.
My first impression of A$AP was when I saw him open for Kendrick Lamar and Drake in February of 2012. Initially I wasn’t crazy about him: I was seeing him in a big arena (the Schott in Columbus, OH) and the sound system he brought was not a good fit for such a large venue. Also, the mics and music weren’t synced up right, causing his voice volume to dominate the beat.
I didn’t give him another listen until about September 2012. Considering A$AP is my roommate’s favorite rapper, I feel like I owed Rocky another listen. I downloaded his mixtape, LiveLoveA$AP (side note: I can’t think of a rapper who got bigger off of just one mixtape,) and he grew on me exponentially with each listen.
So now I too was eagerly anticipating Long Live A$AP, and it just so happened to drop in time for me to devote valuable listening time to it while I was high on painkillers and recovering from a tonsillectomy. Religious is a word that comes to mind when I try to describe the experience. However, A$AP’s debut album was such a different style from his mixtape that I feel you cannot justly compare the two.
A$AP has created an interesting (and incredible) image for himself: an exquisite taste in fancy clothing while also retaining a connection to his hometown of Harlem, NY. He sums it up well on his song “Peso” from LiveLoveA$AP that he’s, “…that pretty motherfucker. Harlem’s what I’m reppin’.” Usually rappers choose one or the other; for example, Kendrick Lamar seems synonymous to Compton, California while a majority of rap fans probably couldn’t tell you that Lil Wayne is from New Orleans.
As far as Long Live A$AP goes, he does a great job of having some “pop-y” songs where it doesn’t even hit you that it is pop-y. Rocky also brings along an all-star supporting cast with Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Danny Brown, Yelawolf, and 2 Chainz to name a few.
Long Live A$AP will hopefully fulfill itself; I hope that A$AP is around for the foreseeable future. To hit a home run on your first at bat is amazing; A$AP hit a grand slam.
You can read GQ’s interview with A$AP Rocky here.