At least he’s better than Wiz Khalifa.
A$AP Rocky – Live.Love.A$AP. (Self-Released, 2011)
An internet phenom (yes, another one of those) who hustled his way through the online game, he’s prone to rep his Harlem home, remain ever hungry for pussy, out drink Lil Wayne in the Purp department, give love to coke, weed, and bitches, and take it to any muthafucka who crosses him or his Gs. Lyrically, that’s about it. Sonically, it’s just as superficial. The beats range from typical to half assed, while the cliché synth bits are as forgettable and dull as his topics of discussion. Some in the blogosphere are want to comment on A$AP and his contemporaries as a new breed of Post-regional rap – an amalgam of hip-hop’s many subgenre’s meshed into everything Grand Master Flash, Big Boi, 2Pac, HOVA and Eminem were striving for. But every one of those Titans possessed two important traits; a brain, and a personality (two areas Mr. Rocky is short in). Sorry, but if this mixtape is supposed to be any kind of hint towards a greater culmination, he’ll have to do better than “Life is like a bitch / a bitch is like a hoe / hoes want the money / money come and go.” In short, the revolution will not be televised, mostly because it’s not a revolution at all. Just smoke and more smoke. GRADE: B-
Key Track: “Peso”
A$AP Rocky – Long.Live.A$AP. (RCA)
His shiny new contract with RCA means a bigger budget for the basics – which explains his vastly improved beats and hooks. A bigger pay roll also means a notable cast of special guests – including Santigold, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Danny Brown and Florence Welch. The ingredients are there for a successful debut, but the biggest hindrance is A$AP’s ever-stunted rhymes which are perpetually preoccupied with dick grabbing, gun toting and hater hating. I realize he’s a 24-year-old trailblazing through the get-rick-quick era, but even when he tries to soften up, he spits out such keepers as “She just has a smokin’ ‘gina where the wet willies? / I come apart on her heart on her left titty.” A real charmer. For all the time he pretends to be a hard ass, he’s just a blow hard. GRADE: B-
Key Tracks: “Hell”