album review: A$AP Rocky, the next rap craze

Johanna Poppel

Harlem native A$AP Rocky already has an A-List entourage of R&B stars supporting him to the top. This new sensation is breaking into the scene with the support of key artists like Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Rihanna. A$AP Rocky will even open for Rihanna on her tour this March. A$AP Rocky is also a member of the A$AP mob, a community of hip-hop producers, music video directors and rappers.

The deluxe version of “Long.Live.A$AP” came out Jan. 11. Both iTunes and Spotify list “F**kin’ Problems” as Rocky’s most popular track on the album.

iTunes rates his second most popular song as “Wild for the Night,” featuring Skrillex and Birdy Nam Nam, while Spotify rates “Goldie” as his second best track.

These songs have helped place A$AP Rocky’s current album on this week’s Billboard top selling albums of all genres, making it an obvious winner for the number one spot on Billboard’s R&B and Hip-Hop albums. It also won the spot of the nation’s top rap albums and digital albums.

A$AP Rocky is sure to be the next craze. Canadian music lovers even welcomed A$AP Rocky onto their Billboard top 100 albums and the album is working its way to  to the  top ten status in all 24 global markets.

“He is the Lupe Fiasco of the present, it is what white kids listen to to think they are cultured,” said sophomore Chemistry major, Jesse Wilson.

Artists of other genres such as Santigold, Yelawolf and Florence Welch were also involved in the production of A$AP Rocky’s fame, accompanying him on his latest album.

“Long.Live.A$AP” opens with its title track, an ordinary sounding rap that is not too memorable.

Track two, “Goldie,” opens with a catchy beat and a cocky rap of courage and greatness. Many songs on the album aren’t dance songs, but “Goldie” offers high pitched harmonies that nicely blend with this rap of relaxing strong beats.

“PMW (All I Really Need)” sounds similar to the beats of a Drake song and is not unique or impressive. Cliché lyrics of strippers, money and drugs are prominent in this song and throughout the album.

“Hell,” featuring Santigold, is impressive because it offers a fresh sound by the addition of a female voice that is not in the R&B or rap scene. Santigold offers smooth sensuous raps that sound similar to the female rap rebellion M.I.A.

It is no wonder, A$AP Rocky’s most famous piece is “F**kin’ Problems” featuring Drake, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar rap solos making this song full of a sense of energy and empowerment.

Another popular song, “Wild for the Night,” offers a unique spin to the album by introducing electronic music to this edgy and dark piece. Imagine dubstep and rap morphing into a new club sound.

Overall, A$AP Rocky’s lyrics are too similar to the rest of the rap world with the mention of drugs, alcohol, women and an over-announced ego. If rap and hip-hop are your favorite genres, then enjoyment can be found from these similar sounds of A$AP’s, along with finding some new emerging sounds that will get anyone grooving into some dance moves.

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