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“The streets are death row.”—Tupac Shakur.
In May of 2011, Harlem rapper Rakim Mayers aka A$AP Rocky, taking Tupac’s advice to heart, gave up a life of selling drugs and decided to pursue a career in rap music. Repping a place like New York for a new rapper is a big feat, considering some of the best rappers such as The Notorious B.I.G. and 50 Cent came from the north. With A$AP Rocky’s debut album, “Long.Live.A$AP,” the 24-year-old rapper asserts himself as one of the brightest rising stars.
Released on Jan. 15, 2013, “Long.Live.A$AP” debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 272,000 copies as of March 6. Rocky differs from most rappers today because, instead of having one rap style, he follows multiple styles.
From his West Coast flow in the title track, “Long Live A$AP,” to his slowed down dirty south melody style in “Goldie.” Though he has different sounds on the album, none is more prominent than “Wild for the Night,” featuring Skrillex.
Rocky is able to infuse dubstep beats with a flawless delivery of lyrics like, “Wake up feeling blessed up, pistol on that dresser ain’t afraid to show it, I’ll expose it if I dress up.”
However, even with exceptional marketing and producing, “Long.Live.A$AP” has its problems.
The main one is the recurring sex theme. It’s come to be expected that sex is mentioned in rap, but with all of his references, such as in the song “PMW,” Rocky is on a fast track to becoming the next Lil’ Wayne.
All things considered, “Long.Live.A$AP” is a promising debut featuring a wide array of guest artists including Kendrick Lamar, Skrillex and Drake. Containing explicit lyrics and themes, “Long.Live.A$AP” may not be suited for all listeners.
With Meek Mill and A$AP in the east, and Kendrick Lamar in the west, the future looks very promising for rap music.