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Asap Rocky - Long Live Asap (R.I. Review)

Xquisite    
Overview
After Asap Rocky's debut on his innovative cloud rap mix-tape: Live Love Asap, the largest criticism of this young rapper from Harlem was the fact that his lyricism just wasn't at the same caliber of his Indie rap pioneering brethren. However, Asap's presentation was never about lyricism, it was the embodiment of being under the influence. Long Live Asap is an album that through its promotion has becoming the hybrid between an underground release and a mainstream campaign. The production is better, the collaborations are better, and you can even hear Asap's confidence more prevalently. One interesting note about the album is Asap has adopted a new flow pattern over the course of his career that requires speeding through every syllable than pausing suddenly before the last one in the phrase. This is just one of the many innovations on this album. The chorus' are unpredictable from empty space on the track Pheonix, to Drake and Two-Chainz trade off on F*ckin Problem. There is a little religious undertone on the album but it's highly debatable what the message of any of it really is (and honestly, that could be intentional.)
Defining Track
F*ckin Problem is by far the definitive track of this release because it represents Asap Rocky's current contribution to hip hop. Currently, he is the strongest link between independent hip hop and mainstream rap. The chorus begins with Two-Chainz and Drake just finishes the stanza out. That innovation works highly well because they complement each-other's greatest weakness; Many hip hop aficionados tend to tune out Drake initially, but Two-Chainz has very little long term appeal (Ingenious right?) Kendrick's verse at the end is probably the weakest one he's ever written down but he's treading in waters he isn't all that familiar with by featuring on such a high profile track.
Final Thoughts
Asap Rocky has definately improved but the question becomes, "where does he go from here?" He's proven himself as a rapper. He's proven he can be a successful mainstream rapper but that makes him seem like he's clashing with the image he's already acquired. Is there a long term career for the ambassador for independent hip hop? Maybe that's the true meaning of "Long Live Asap."


Rap Independent
Asap Rocky - Long Live Asap
9/10

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