Jim Jonsin

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Will A$AP Rocky’s Long.Live.A$AP Make Him New York’s Latest Rap Messiah?

A$AP Rocky is not New York’s rap savior. That doesn’t mean he isn’t the most intriguing, most watched rapper to emerge from New York in the last decade. It’s hard for an artist’s project to live up to the level of hype critics and fans set for Long.Live.A$AP. Like Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d. city, A$AP rose to the occasion with the  (Polo Grounds/RCA) debut–not for producing an LP with a cohesive story arc like his Oakland colleague–but for its production and experimentation.

Criticized for his lack of depth on the mixtape Live.Love.A$AP, the 24-year-old Harlem rapper didn’t buckle under pressure to create a forced pseudo-deep LP. It’s unapologetic in the grandiose boasting of extra zeros in his bank account, the fly women he’s sexing and posturing of street life. “Yes I’m the s—-/Tell me if it stink/It feel good waking up to money in the bank/Three model b—-/cocaine on the sink/And I’m so ’bout it ’bout it I might roll up in a tank,” he raps on the lead single “Goldie.” The themes are much of the “look at how much money I have” and “I know fancy designers,” but his voice over the drums, snares and keyboards, it all bangs. Hard. Read more…