AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP- A$AP ROCKY (A$AP WORLDWIDE &POLO GROUNDS,RCA)
On his sophomore effort A$AP Rocky goes left of mainstream media’s expectations and foregoes radio presence for a cohesive more fully developed release. There are no “Wild For The Night’s” present here but the high profile collaborators are with a wide range of stars from Mark Ronson to M.I.A and Kanye West. This album also features a high number of features from a former industry non-entity known as Joe Fox whom Rocky met on a chance encounter in London. He appears on a staggering third of this album’s tracks (Approximately 5 out of 18).
Album opener “Holy Ghost”has Rocky calling out all of his style-biters as well as new-found fame and slave rappers in bars such as “My attire sells, how you tryna sound? Stop it now” and “Satan givin’ out deals, finna own these rappers”.
This mood continues on throughout the entire album as A$AP Rocky plays curator to his own world. This is the after party as well as the 2AM deep conversation. Rocky waxes poetic on excesses with references to the lavish such as “Canal Street” which is a famous crosstown street in Lower Manhattan which is a favored location for the wealthy to acquire jewellery as well as other high-end merchandise.
The greatest talking point is Rocky branching out and dabbling in singing on album cut “L$D” where he croons about trysts with women as well as acting as an ode to popular drug, LSD which Rocky declared was his psychedelic of choice while recording the album as well as coping with the death of his close friend and fellow A$AP founder, A$AP Yams or Yamborghini.
Despite foregoing the mainstream route, this album still has its bangers with standout tracks such as “Excuse Me” and “Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye II”.
Schoolboy Q features on “Electric Body” which samples from the Baltimore Club scene with its instrumental and hook. The standout moment is when Rocky declares his disappointment in a girl giving a man special favors for free.
Controversy follows this album with a questionable line about Rita Ora on “Better Things” where he declares his annoyance with her. Questionable bars don’t end there with implied lines about Rihanna and Iggy Azalea on “Jukebox Joints” which featured an impressive Kanye West feature following along the same path he took on Tyler ,The Creator’s “Smuckers”.
Lil Wayne also continues his battles with Cash Money on “M$”in another impressive outing from him.
The star studded “Everyday” fully delivers on the hype as the respective worlds of Mark Ronson, Rocky and Rod Stewart collide and this makes for an uncommon but still musically pleasing sound.
All in all this is an impressive effort for A$AP Rocky. Improvements in his song writing and instrumental selection make this a strong release and it should hold a high place in his catalogue.
TCW RATING: 8/10