In 2011, A$AP Rocky (born Rakim Mayers) was a primitive name in the hip-hop scene. Just starting out back then, the 24-year-old MC received high acclaim when he put out his first mixtape Live.Love.A$AP, an impressive introduction. Now, his name is being celebrated for his work on his major label debut, Long.Live.A$AP.
In a recent interview, he told MTV News, "This album is more advanced; it's like [I] graduated," while comparing it to his mixtape. "It took me a year to do it, so everything I've been going through — as far as life inspiration — is all from within this past year after I got my record deal. Live.Love.A$AP [is life] before the record deal and Long.Live.A$AP is after the deal."
Despite a leak in mid-December, the album has struck gold within the music (all genres, that is) community. Rocky's lead single "F---in Problems" got plenty of playtime on the radio as well as in the clubs along with A-list squad of 2 Chainz, Kendrick Lamar, and Drake. He even worked with Skrillex on the track "Wild For The Night," which is one of the most innovative and quality produced tracks on the album. It brings a new feel to typical rap and Sonny Moore made sure of it, incorporating his laserlike synths over a reggae type feel. You can even catch an unexpected collab with Florence Welch on "I Come Apart," as her affecting vocals flow behind Rocky's raps in what turns out to be a powerful love song.
Overall, Rocky is a true storyteller as he raps about his life through strong expression and lyrics on top of excellent production work. We've rounded up five of our faves on the album from the Harlem native and expect to bump these on your playlists!
1. I Come Apart Ft. Florence Welch
2. Wild For The Night Ft. Skrillex
3. 1 Train Ft. Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Yelawolf, Danny Brown, Action Bronson & Big K.R.I.T
4. F**ckin Problems Ft. Drake, 2 Chainz, Kendrick Lamar