A$AP Rocky‘s breakout mixtape ‘LIVELOVEA$AP‘ was a defining moment for the comeback of New York as well as how much rap is changing and the influences someone who reps Eastside has from southern musicians. After releasing his debut studio album in 2013 ‘LongLiveA$AP‘ to much critical acclaim. Rocky then returned with his second solo album ‘A.L.L.A’, an abbreviation for ‘AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP‘.
However, while his fans and critics probably agreed with the title, as A$AP had made such an impression on the Hi-Hop community as well as others, the title, depressingly doesn’t live to the title and neither does the project.
While the album is supposed to be an ode to Rocky’s longtime business partner and establisher of the A$AP Mob, A$AP Yams, there are also a handful of features on the album. M.I.A., Future, Joe Fox, Kanye West, a posthumous verse from Pimp C and ScHoolBoy Q all turn up for performances on the album, yet, some of their features don’t boost the songs popularity or add any substance to it.
Tracks such as “JD”, the always banging “Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye II”, “Excuse Me” and “Canal St.” are some of the solo songs which see Rocky rapping over aggressive Boom-Bap tracks, however, the real highlights are the tracks where the featured artists are.
Lil Wayne’s featured verse on The Honourable C-Note and Mike Dean produced “M’$” is one of the most interesting and exciting from Wayne in recent memory. He switches his flow up depending on the speed of the beat and sounds hungrier than ever. Future’s contribution to the melancholy “Fine Whine” is also cool. He slurs over the minimal production, yet gives a painfully heartfelt verse in the process.
While Rocky is very much an intriguing and exciting part of contemporary Hip-Hop, the second studio album from the Harlem spitter isn’t as jaw-dropping as his debut project. It didn’t really sound like any lyrical progress had interested Rocky and he was more focused on the overall sound of the album. This, however, let the album become one that the new Rocky fans would come to love while his day-1 fans sat by and listened to another average Rap project.