Many of you may have come into possession of the album which leaked ridiculously early in Dec, but its still consistently been in my rotation. Harlem’s A$AP Rocky first caught my ear with “Peso” off the Live.Long.A$AP mixtape in 2011 and was certainly an acquired taste. Rocky could certainly spit drug and bravado-filled rhymes, but I couldn’t decide if I liked Clams Casino’s hazy production-style that sounded more Houston than NY.
A year later, I can attest to growing to enjoy CC’s beats and A$AP Rocky has proven he can rhyme on damn near anything. Long.Live.A$AP is Rocky’s official debut and displays that growth with a variety of soundscapes from producers expected and unexpected. “Goldie” and “F___in’ Problems” show Pretty Flacko’s acumen for big hip-hop hits with producers in-demand Hit-Boy and Noah “40” Shebib, while the Danger Mouse helmed cut “Phoenix” surprises as he delves into suicidal tendencies. The dubstep-inspired sample on “Wild For The Night” might come as a surprise, but A$AP Rocky’s influence has been touched my more than just hip-hop. Obviously, I’m a big fan of Rocky’s references to my favorite rap outfit or yesteryear, No Limit Records. “Goldie” has the bounce of one of KLC’s old productions for the Tank, while “1 Train” is a classic posse cut with a “who’s who” of today’s hip-hop (Danny Brown steals the show though).