We've been fucking with Rocky for a while.
Fall back to 2011, before LiveLoveA$AP dropped. Here was this tripped out druggy Harlem cat with french braids and some random blonde chick with grills on the Purple Swag video... I didn't feel it at all, thought it was amateur as hell. Thankfully I watched the vid all the way through and heard the chopped-and-screwed, unreleased-at-the-time version of Peso at the end. Never heard anything like it. I was immediately intrigued. Purple Swag- I hated. Stupid. But this other track.... fuck. What was it?
LongLiveA$AP dropped, and I listened subconsciously one afternoon doing other shit, paying no attention to lyrics- just these contagious sounds, and screwed-up, purple-laced deep ad-libs... Three or four plays through and I'm spending hours on complex.com researching this cat. I'd seen all the interviews, read all the write-ups. This A$AP shit was a breath of fresh air, game changing stuff. Bringing back that Bone-Thugs/UGK/Southern Experimental Trill SHIT.
I rarely listen to an album from top to bottom more than 2/3 times. You move on, it's just like a movie I guess. It's time consuming. For me, Long Live A$AP plays would be in the 40/50s. So now you understand how excited I have been for this release.
A$AP Rocky signed a 3-MILLION DOLLAR record deal off ONE MIXTAPE (excluding that one almost non-exhistant-to-general-public free-p 'Deep Purple'). One mixtape. It's unheard of, I still struggle to get my head around how 16 tracks can explode into such stardom so quickly. I guess it just shows how music, hip hop in particular, is a very social industry thanks to countless blogs/twitter/radio talkshows in the US.
So... Upon first listens, NO it's not as swaggy as LiveLoveA$AP, but you can hear his progression. A very professional record, and apart from maybe two tracks (Florence Welch song is lame as fuck) he stuck very heavily to his roots. Which is so important when rappers make the mixtape-album transition.
There are so, so, so many features. But he did it in a way that didn't jeopardise his opportunity to further prove his solo artistry, there's still 9 Rocky-only tracks.
My favourite moment in this album ironically isn't A$AP though... It's when Danny Brown comes in on '1Train'... that shit just fits perfect, he attacks that Hit-Boy beat with his usual quirky steeze.
Anyway, I am just so, so stoked and relieved that we've gotten to hear LEGIT A$AP music, not some major label bullshit. He was able to keep creative control. I still want more though!!!
On a side note... Sadly, all the general public will most likely only hear in Australia will be the Skrillex track and the Florence Welch song... #Clamsbeatsforradio
LongLiveA$AP (prod. by Jim Jonsin & Rico Love)
PMW (All I Really Need) (ft. ScHoolboy Q) (prod. by T-Minus)
LVL (prod. by Clams Casino)
Wild for the Night (ft. Skrillex) (prod. by Birdy Nam Nam & Skrillex)
Jodye (prod. by Joey Fatts)
Suddenly (prod. by LORD FLACKO)