Alright folks, here’s the LongLiveAsap review. This here is a real interesting album, from a hip-hop perspective, because everybody knows Rocky don’t be talking bout nothing, but musically you can’t deny his talents. Some people take it too extreme in his defense though, but that’s a different story. Leggo.
For the first part, I just gotta address cuz singing. He got away with it a little on LiveLove because he kinda just did crooning, but there’s no excuse for not getting a singer on songs like the opening, where he’s actually singing in falsetto and he’s like one slight pitch away from his voice cracking. The only saving grace is his rhythmic talents, production, and the fact that he later includes a chorus of children singing with him. But seriously, just get Shanika from your neighborhood to sing at least… Dang man.
Anyway, the sound quality of this album is absolutely amazing. Super well mixed and mastered, sounds great even on shoddy speakers. Every part of the beats, voices, etc. are brought out well. You can tell Rocky takes pride in the sound quality of his music. Just like his mixtape before it, the beats are incredible. Borrowing from the talents of amazing composers like: Clams Casino, Hit-Boy, Danger Mouse, and freaking Skrillex. SKRILLEX MAN! My mans def had the hookup on the production. From that angle I can’t say anything negative about it.
One thing that hurts this project on the spectrum of actually rapping and song structure is the fact that the rapper-featured songs are made by their features. Sure some people here and there like Rocky’s verse the most on “1 Train” (coughnewyorkbiascough), but that song, PMW, Fuckin Problems, even bonus tracks like “Ghetto Symphony” are sort of made by their features. Rocky doesn’t really use these features to complement the songs in any other way besides these being big names and/or good rappers. He definitely can hold a song on his own (tracks 1 & 11), just lacks consistency.
Don’t get my wrong though, Rocky can definitely hold his own in the flow department. You’ll never catch this guy being off beat, and can easily forgive his swagger jacking by how effectively he uses it. Not really much else to say about this, there’s a reason why people defend this guy so hard even though he’s not super lyrical.
Speaking of lyrics, not much here guys. Virtually no wordplay, most songs don’t really have any concise meaning or subject. This has a few exceptions like in Phoenix where he uses tons of cadence techniques at the beginning and talks about suicide and just having a screwed life. Also, Fashion Killa has a real concept to it, but it’s kinda… weird. My mans just a liiiil too obsessed over clothes.
“I love cross-dressing, that’s my f*ckin problem!”
He kinda suffers a bit from the “Dr. Seuss” syndrome which is you can guess what the next rhyming word is before you even hear it. And hearing “shimmy shimmy yah” in two songs kinda makes me cringe. However his persona in these lyrics is nice, he’s super charismatic and says some funny stuff like “hold up that was racist” in “Goldie”.
By the way, “F*ckin Problems” is NOT a great song. Sure it has some cool and memorable parts like “Guh! I know you want dis dih!” it’s fun to listen to with your friends and real accessible, but that doesn’t make it great. The hook is kinda shaky, it sounds like they had to improvise it because 2 chainz dropped out the track. Drake sounds like he just shat out some lines from his blackberry that loosely fit together on the fly.
“And juuuuuu—Ok I got it..”
And then Kendrick manages to actually make a subpar verse. not from the standpoint of being bad lyrically or flow wise, but just being corny. He sounded like he was uncomfortable with the subject. If you disagree, come at me then.
In conclusion, this joint is really tight, I love listening to some of the songs a lot because they’re mad catchy or just a smooth listen. Despite the bad singing, the opening is a good track and the hook really sticks to you, as do a few of the other songs like Phoenix and Pain. A chunk of the beats are so great and memorable enough for you to be humming throughout the day. If you shut up and listen this is some great stuff, but you’ll be on some other music eventually. If you want to take this album seriously, though, you just compromise too much.
Album Grade: C