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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The Battalion May 4, 2024

Album review: A$AP Rocky’s “AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP” carries new sound

Photo by Courtesy
ASAP Rocky

In 2013 A$AP Rocky released a great album. “LONG.LIVE.A$AP” carried a new sound — a soundtrack for college parties that incorporated cinematic beats and the notorious slowed-down voice in the background.  Yet, because of the long stream of heavy hitting rap albums of 2013, his album got lost in the mix. The rapper’s debut album was released the same year as Drake’s “Nothing Was the Same,” Kanye’s “Yeezus,” Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP 2,” and three months after Kendrick’s “good Kid, m.A.A.d city.”  The competition was tough for the newly popularized rapper. However, it’s a whole new year for A$AP Rocky with “AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP,” and it will be hard for him to be overshadowed.

The album is good — experimental, evolved and excellently produced. The rapper has come a long way since blowing up in Harlem and forming his ever-loyal A$AP mob. “AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP,” which released last Tuesday, provides listeners with a fresh perspective as A$AP shows off his more organized artistry and personality. The common themes of drug use and partying persist, yet lighter beats with hooks and deeper lyrics about past relationships and his mental state are more prevalent.

The 18-track list is filled with an assorted bunch of guest features ranging from Rod Stewart to Kanye West. The unknown singer/songwriter Joe Fox, who Rocky discovered on the streets of London, collaborates on five songs and contributes greatly in changing A$AP’s music style. Also, A$AP shies from including peers like Drake or Kendrick Lamar, perhaps to avoid any chance of being outshined.

The album starts by criticizing religion with “Holy Ghost,” and you can tell right away that the vibe is different from his older music. Lyrics are more thought out and mix with a more diverse sound. It looks like A$AP grew up quite a bit in his two year absence.

Continuing with “Canal St.,” he raps to a beat that reminds listeners of A$AP Rocky’s history of drug dealing and troubled past of family deaths. The song is special because it takes you into that past and the transition that followed to the rich rapper he is today.

“Fine Whine,” and “L$D” are weak tracks and will probably be skipped the majority of the time.

“Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2” bears an absurd name but was one of the best singles put out before the album and warrants many replays.

“Electric Body” with Schoolboy Q is groovy until Schoolboy Q comes in and delivers an uneasy, harsh verse.

“Jukebox Joints” features Kanye West, who produced it. It is a solid track and hopefully won’t fly under the radar.

The next five songs on the album are great to have in a repertoire. Here is the biggest concentration of self-reflection and past relationships as mentioned before, paired with laid-back hooks differing from his last album.

The album finishes up “M’$” featuring Lil Wayne, the biggest radio hit on the album, an interlude along with “Everyday” with Rod Stewart and Miguel and “Back Home,” a tribute to a friend and long time producer A$AP Yams, who died recently.

To put it into perspective, this is the best rap album that has come out in a while. Better than J. Cole’s “2014 Forest Hills Drive.” Better than Drake’s “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late.” Better than Big Sean’s “Dark Sky Paradise.” For the rap purists out there, the only album that stands a chance is to rival it at the Grammy’s is the over embellished “To Pimp a Butterfly,” yet “AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP” doesn’t bear the responsibility of being a good follow up album like Kendrick’s did, lowering the chance of listeners being disappointed.

“AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP” gives A$AP Rocky a bid to become one of the best rappers out there — and this is only his sophomore album.

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