The world has been gifted with a post-Memorial Day weekend miracle. Er, actually, someone f*cked up and accidentally leaked A$AP Rocky’s new record on the Internet, ultimately losing their job for it, probably. Or RCA Records had his or her head on a platter. In Memoriam, Leaked Album Crusader. Rest in Power.
The point is, A$AP Rocky’s released his album, At.Long.Last.A$AP, prematurely on iTunes and Spotify. Yaaaay. It’s a monstrous 18-track record with a ton of features including M.I.A., Future, Juicy J, Lil Wayne, and even Yeezus himself. It’s an impressionable roster, but A$AP Rocky has explained before that this album is a reference to Long Island MC and inspiration Rakim Allah, and that this album is the return of God or Allah, himself. So can you really blame Rocky for heading a hip hop Pantheon of Olympians? (Insert Photoshop-ed picture of A$AP majestically looking out at some hills in white Grecian robes here.)
I was expecting an album of full-fledged hot-blooded ramblings. Eighteen songs in a single record – I’d be in the middle of reciting an outdated 1993 encyclopedia article about oak trees by track seven. My track eight would be a recipe for stuffed baked potatoes dipped in a light gravy sauce.
Leave it to the pros, I guess. There’s a reason why my hip-hop career isn’t taking off (thanks, Obama). On the album, Rocky picks up speed and never takes his foot off the gas pedal. It’s a little heavy on the emotional side – one of A$AP’s mentors (A$AP Yams) passed away earlier this year, and the entire record has been shaped as an homage to him. But it’s consistently solid, and despite the intense themes, Rocky still manages to slide in some one-liners (“Hoes get the Uber ride” – TRU tho), and the funniest jab at someone I’ve heard all year (“I swear that bitch Rita Ora got a big mouth // Next time I see her I might curse the bitch out”). YASSSS DRAG HER.
That being said, this album is long as fuck. Like longer than the 60,000 cumulative miles of blood vessels you have you in your body. Although the individual facets of it are little masterpieces on their own, together, the album feels grueling and meandering at times. There’s a lot A$AP has to say, and he takes his time saying it. For diehard fans, that’s awesome. But for the laymen, whose attention spans are subject to the frenetic, ADD-pacing of today’s media-based society, his message may be lost. And, we’re all familiar with the impact of a strong message delivered concisely. Although, I seriously doubt A$AP has many fucks to give about people who don’t take the time to hear him out.
Personally, I understand not having the time to sift through 18-songs-worth of hip-hop for personal reflection, so if had to recommend a track to you to maximize your time efficiency, I’d definitely say it’s gotta be “Wavybone.” It’s the most casual anthem about making money I’ve heard maybe ever. Fat stacks, so blasé, am I right? “Wavybone” features Juicy J and UGK, and a catchy hook that reminds me how poor I am.
“Fine Whine” is another honorable mention, because hearing M.I.A. say “Tell your new bitch she can suck a dick” gives me life.
Shout out to Yeezus, too – never thought I’d hear Kanye rap about #FOMO, but I’m here for it.
At.Long.Last.A$AP is now streaming on Spotify (which you can listen to riiight down there), and up for purchase on iTunes. If you need visuals to go along with your aural experience, check out A$AP’s video for L$D.