'"All I see is fake love, smiles, and overbites, but I'm pimping," assures A$AP Rocky on "Suddenly", the final track from his masterpiece debut "LONG.LIVE.A$AP".
It's a brooding and brilliant rumination on fame replete with soulful samples amidst minimalist haunting production. He name checks Busta Rhymes, Puff Daddy, and Eazy-E, but he's most certainly his own man, especially declaring, "This ain't no conscious rap".
That's the most interesting aspect of "LONG.LIVE.A$AP". He's so talented that it almost sounds like it's not conscious. Album opener "Long Live A$AP" rolls through hollowed out tones as he ponders, "I thought I'd probably die in prison". His inflection hits hard just before dropping into an eerie yet irresistible chorus.
The record thrives on those dark contradictions, and it's another reason why the album remains one of the most intriguing hip hop records in years. Santigold pops up for a frenetic cameo on "Hell", while "Fuckin' Problems" might as well be a master class in 21st century rap with 2 Chainz, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and A$AP all tearing up a beat together. The most mind-blowing genre-mashing happens during "Wild for the Night" where Skrillex goes buck wild with our narrator.
As the last strains of "Suddenly" taper off, it's clear that A$AP has officially arrived as a rap leader. This is the first classic rap album of 2013 and the beginning of a legacy.
Long live A$AP Rocky.'
- Rick Florino
01. Long Live A$AP (Produced By Jim Jonsin And Rico Love)
02. Goldie (Produced By Hit-Boy)
03. PMW (All I Really Need) (Feat. Schoolboy Q] (produced By T-Minus)
04. LVL (Produced By Clams Casino)
05. Hell (Feat. Santigold) (Produced By Clams Casino)
06. Pain (Feat. OverDoz) (Produced By Soufien 3000)
07. Fuckin’ Problems (Feat. Drake, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar) (produced By Noah “40 Shebib) And C. Papi)
08. Wild For The Night (Feat. Skrillex) (produced By Birdy Nam Nam And Skrillex, Remixed By Skrillex And Lord Flacko)
09. 1Train (Feat. Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Yelawolf, Danny Brown, Action Bronson & Big KRIT) (Produced By Hit-Boy)
10. Fashion Killa (Produced By Hector Delgado, Friendzone And Lord Flacko)
11. Phoenix (Produced By Danger Mouse)
12. Suddenly (Produced By Lord Flacko, Hector Delgado And A$AP Ty Beats)
Bonus Deluxe Edition CD Tracks:
13 Jodye (Produced By Joey Fatts And Lord Flacko)
14 Ghetto Symphony (Feat. Gunplay & A$AP Ferg) (Produced By V Don And Lord Flacko)
15 Angels (Produced By Amsterdam)
16. I Come Apart (Feat. Florence Welch)