Review of At.Long.Last.A$AP by A$AP Rocky
Its been a while. Its been much hyped. Its been kind of a big deal. Finally A$AP Rocky the biggest name from A$AP Mob releases his sophomore album At.Long.Last.A$AP. Its delay wasn’t all through choice, although there were rumours of several tracks being rearranged or deleted from the track list. The death of Mob leader A$AP Yams shook the whole squad.
After the various delays the album hits our digital shelves a week early and whilst A$AP Rocky is in Europe. The hype is a lot to live up to, but the vocal line-up is one to be admired including Mos Def, M.I.A. and Lil Wayne amongst others. Alongside the vocal greats, the album boasts an array of guest producers that sounds like some kind of hall of fame including Danger Mouse and Kanye.
With this mix there is a chance that the album could lack clarity and it would almost certainly lack consistency, however the theme that seems constant is the drug induced nature. A$AP Rocky isn’t one to shy away from this, openly discussing it in interviews and making it a feature of a number of tracks particularly Jukebox Joints. He raps about how he answers people when they ask about his apparent disappearance
“I’m tripping off the acid,” he explains, adding, “now yo’ ass is looking massive.”
The whole sound appears as a collage almost hallucinatory and is at its greatest on Max B. The Danger Mouse produced Pharsyde has a distinct sound again with a psychedelic feel as does Dreams and the come-down feel to Fine Whine. The mix of Joe Fox‘s vocal and the aggression that kicks in with M.I.A.‘s rapping brings an amazing feel.
At.Long.Last.A$AP has as much of an experimental feel as it does a drug induced feel, but it does lean a little on the blueprint set by the success of Kendrick Lamar. L$D is perhaps the most obvious clue to its creation and backdrop, but is also one of the best on the album.
Throughout the album, no matter what the backdrop or motivation A$AP Rocky is solid throughout. His delivery is tight and the construct of his lyrics is complex and delivered with apparent ease. A$AP Rocky demonstrates why he is top of his game right now and is definitely one for us to hold in high regard.
As a body of work, it does lack consistency. It does lack the feel of a story and yes it does lack clarity. But you know what? That doesn’t matter one iota, the album is brilliant. No it isn’t groundbreaking but it is bloody great.
Have a listen for yourself, you know you want to.