I have waited for months and months and then more months for this album, and let me say, it is a banger. This album is going to be heard nonstop in 2013, and you better be ready. But if I have to choose one word to describe it for me; disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good album. A very solid debut from A$AP, but simply doesn’t have the strength of LiveLoveA$AP.
The first three tracks on LongLive get off to a good start. The title track would fit on the mixtape, with a great beat and smart lyrics. A$AP spits with the dexterity that gets him love, and it feels like he’s back, unfortunately this is one of the best tracks on the joint. The hook is classic Rocky, and it’s a great track. Then it’s followed up with “Goldie,” the single that we’ve been hearing and loving for months, fine. PMW is solid as well, with lines from Schoolboy Q, who I love, but from there the album starts to melt together. The rest of the songs start to fade together, and A$AP continually talking about his new lifestyle and how well he’s doing gets old quickly.
Everyone is going to love this album. Critics are already all over him, and fans are loving his hype and antics, and this will be commercially a huge success as a result. But I never did love A$AP Rocky, I loved his crew, his history, the lifestyle he was promoting and the thoughts he was having. Tracks like “Leaf” and “Demon” made LiveLove as strong as it was, and nothing on this album has the same effect. Sure “Phoenix” may have him questioning himself and describing emotions, but it all feels phony surrounded with his Kanye like obsession with expensive clothing. I mean, goddamn, we get that you wear Givenchy. Simply wearing Givenchy isn’t cool, what was cool before was wearing it and not giving a fuck, doing it effortlessly. And that’s the main issue with this album.
In my opinion A$AP is nervous about the hype surrounding him. He feels all the pressure of following up such a hyped mixtape and isn’t performing as well as he was before under the stress. Just look at how many times he pushed the release date for this album. The whole mood of this album is one of almost loneliness. Maybe I’m completely wrong, but that’s what I took from it. Part of LiveLove’s appeal was the whole “I love my New York crew, but I can be introspective too” this seems to shout, “I love what I’m doing, I love me, I love those homies too. But look I’m as good as everyone says.” He just is trying too hard to prove himself, and it’s inauthentic to me.
I still like this album a whole lot more than most other new hip hope. Longlive is a great track, 1train is absolutely incredible, Goldie is goldie, but I got too excited by the wait and the predecessor, so overall I was let down.