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A$AP Rocky - LiveloveA$AP

 
21 March, 2012
 
 
 

By Nixxie

 

So what's the big deal with Rakim Mayers aka A$AP Rocky? I mean, ever since I first heard about this 23-year-old New York rapper close to a year ago, there has been a huge amount of hype surrounding him. Back then, I tried to figure out what all the fuss was about by doing what most people would have done: I bought and listened to his album LIVELOVEA$AP.

 

I have to admit, up until recently, I just simply didn't get. The guy was getting rave reviews left, right and center yet for me there wasn't much to justify it. Call me narrow minded, or too old school, but when it comes to rap, lyrics and subject matter play an important role. If for example I start feeling that a rap song is too much all about celebrating fame, success, riches, sexual conquests etc, I'll usually find it hard to stay tuned, unless the production values and, more importantly, the actual rapping is phenomenal , like for example it is with Snoop or Biggie. If on the other hand we (as in we the rapper in question) are only really interested in getting high, again I find it hard to stay interested, unless it's Cypress Hill (or maybe Afroman).

 

The initial problem I had with A$AP Rocky was his penchant for singing about all of these things, without really having the exploding lyricism or flow some of these others I mention here have. He's talking about what he's smoking, what he's wearing, there's some sex, some violence, some directed antagonism and there's quite a lot about him being a pretty mother****er. All of this initially turned me off to the point that I actually stop trying listening to the album and put it aside indefinitely.

 

Well,indefinitely turned out to be approximately 6 months. I have now rediscovered A$AP Rocky and I can finally say, with what I must admit is a fair amount of relief, that I finally get it. In fact not only do I get it, I actually like it, a lot. One of the contributing factors for this turn-around are the production values on this mixtape, which I hadn't paid enough attention to. Firstly, Clams Casino. I didn't know him back then, but boy am I fan now (check out the Fluffy review I wrote a little while ago). Clams Casino is responsible for five of the album's 16 tracks, including two of my favourites Wassup and Leaf. Houston Old Head and Roll One Up, both produced DJ Burn One, are also worth a mention here, both for the production but also the easy going flows ASAP delivers.

 

Some of the collaborations work well too - I really enjoyed Schoolboy Q on Brand New Guy, which by the way also boasts great production values. Not all of the supporting cast is on the same par as A$AP Rocky, but in the main this mixtape pulls it off in terms of the collabs. I also laughed out loud when I heard A$AP's very personal and well-delivered assault on a number of people, including J.Cole and J. Lo on the last track Out Of This World

 

Generally I felt very drawn to the overall ambiance created here: thick, heavy atmospheres set at slow paces, with a lot of the vocals pitchshifted to lower registers (I know a lot of people won't like this particular feature, but I did). This feels like it's the New Rap, the new direction. Slow. Heavy. Ethereal. Subtle. Low-fi. It's not so much about the lyrics, the actual content isn't as important as the overall vibe this is meant to pass on to you. Now I'm over my admittedly numerous apprehensions, I can safely say that I have been converted.

 

Oh and I love the new lingo: Swag, Trill, Purple -it's like I'm learning a new language…

 

  

 


QUICK ALBUM FACTS


Primary Genre: Hip-hop

Subgenre: Low-Fi

Release Date: 25 November 2011

Label: Polo Grounds Music

Influences: Lil B., UGK, The Diplomats

Like This And You'll Probably Also Like: Schoolboy Q, Kendrick Lamar, Das Racist

Album Highlights:  Wassup, Brand New Guy, Leaf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Asap -rocky3

 


NIX'S 2 CENTS

 

"So very fresh, a fantastic debut effort, 8.5/10"

 

Asap Rocky

 

 

Contributor mini-profile

 
Nixxie

Nixxie

 
24 Fluffy Reviews
 
"Made Glorious Summer By This Son Of York"
 
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Mini bio
Raised in England, educated by France, originally from Greece. 
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Check the About Nixxie section for more.
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