Asap Rocky‘s Long Live Asap is a strong album after his impressive Live Love Asap mixtape left a lot to live up to. After hearing the two brilliant lead singles from his debut studio album, Asap Rocky gave a lot to look forward to.
Highlights of the album are due Asap’s ability to push the boundaries of modern hip hop, I picked Suddenly out to be the one of the most interesting rap songs since My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. At what first seems to be a whale whistle on repeat, Suddenly illustrates Asap’s excellent flow, the understated beat leaves a lot of work to be done on a lyrical level, despite Asap proclaiming to not ‘view me as a conscious cat, this ain’t no conscious rap’ it’s difficult to not do just that. The song ultimately leaves Asap to rap a cappella until his flow changes once more and you then notice the beat has been building, creeping in to join him with a tumble of lyrics that you can’t help but bop your head to, then the song ends.
Another topic to mention of course, is the intriguing list of guest collaborators, I feel the Skrillex cut as well as the Florence Welch assisted I Come Apart (although a bonus track)are lazy and seem as if they’re on the album just because they could, maybe on another future project would they seem more fitting but they don’t coexist with the rest of the album fluidly. However, 1 Train is exceptional. A six minute Hit-Boy creation brimmed with record scratches and strings is the perfect platform for Kendrick Lamar, Joey Badass, Yelawolf, Danny Brown, Action Bronson and Big K.R.I.T. to show exactly why they are the next generation of rappers. LVL is perfectly complimented by a Haim cameo that is well utilised as well a brilliant Danger Mouse produced Phoenix that also sheds light on Asap’s singing ability that could be used more in the future.
In summary, some truly stand out tracks from the album make this a brilliant studio debut for Asap Rocky. However, there is a fair amount of waste material that isn’t needed such as Pain and Hell. A couple of good tracks that seem lost within the mood of the album bog the album down a little bit but on the whole the hits make up for the misses. A great debut effort.