Fans of ASAP Rocky can now breathe a sigh of relief. His latest album, "Long. Live. ASAP," recently dropped on Jan. 15. Buzz about the Harlem rapper piqued after he released his 2011 mixtape, "Live. Love. ASAP."
Rocky's impressive mixtape combined lyrical genius and catchy, pop-savvy beats. On his new album, the 24-year-old MC, born Rakim Mayers, ups the ante with noticeable charisma and the ability to hit each line with incredible force.
The title track begins with a bang that sets the tone for the rest of the album. The menacing beat conveys Rocky's personality as listeners are presented with a rapper full of swag, saying, "I said I'd probably die in prison, expensive taste in women/Ain't had no pot to piss in, now my kitchen full of dishes." ASAP Rocky bounces between his initial struggles as an up and coming rapper, the luxurious life he lives now and where he hopes to be in the future.
The energy of ASAP Rocky's album is palpable from the beginning, and the talented rapper keeps the momentum going on tracks such as "Goldie" and "PMW." In "Goldie," Rocky raps, "Cristal go by the cases/Wait hold up that was racist/I would prefer the Aces/Ain't no difference when you taste it." This line alone gives a small sample of Rocky's ability to couple humor with clever lyrics. Similarly, the track "Fashion Killa" is an undeniably catchy number about Rocky's profound interest in the opposite sex.
Other tracks, such as "Phoenix," show the insightful and chill side of Rocky. The young rapper paints a better picture of his life than the typical stoner rap listeners have heard in the past. Though ASAP Rocky was criticized for sounding lazy on some of the harder beats on his mixtape, "Long. Live. ASAP" doesn't have this issue. Every song shows Rocky laying down each beat with a determined force. Prominent track "1 Train" includes six minutes of absolute rapping domination. Featured artists, including Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$, YelaWolf, Danny Brown, Action Bronson and Big K.R.I.T., join ASAP Rocky on this epic track. Not to be outshined, Rocky kills the beat with raw, intense passion. Whether it's a slower, more perceptive track like "Hell," or a darker song like "Jodye" and "Ghetto Symphony" featuring Gunplay and ASAP Ferg, Rocky's past laziness turned into motivation and direction, giving music lovers a more sophisticated flow that has Rocky owning each beat.
The end of "Long. Live. ASAP" features the incredible, self-produced track "Suddenly." This song serves more like a stream of consciousness memoir with flashes included from his younger years in Harlem. The unsettling, sporadically tuned beat shows Rocky describing his bleak surroundings, saying, "Roaches on the wall/Roaches on the dresser." The MC also raps about his parents struggling to scrape by and consistent shootings next to family events. As the song ends, Rocky simply can't believe his life is suddenly so comfortable, considering his upbringing. A piece of him is thankful, of course, but he seems more wonderstruck than anything.
On the whole, Rocky appears to be near to perfecting the bests parts of his game. The amount of attention the album has already received matches Rocky's enthusiasm. On this album, fans will get a better Rocky with a stronger voice and catchy beats to match.
"Long. Live. ASAP" debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.
Since its release, the album has sold 177,000 copies. If that doesn't convey the success of this album, nothing else will.