Monday, January 30, 2012

A$AP (As Smooth [or as soon] As Possible)

At this moment a line from the Lil’ Flip song “Game Over” plays in my head. Here is the line:

Game over/ I’m about to change over/ It’s about time/ ‘Cause hip-hop needs a makeover

This is truth.

I have been listening to mixtapes like crazy. That, like anything, comes with both good and bad points that must be accounted for. But I am not particularly here to bore you with the rough patches. I want to give you the smooth spots that are helping to get hip-hop off of life support. One of the contributors to that is a New York rapper by the name of A$AP Rocky. His opening effort is titled LiveLoveA$AP.

Via Twitter I first heard about this guy. My last few forays into mixtapes via tweet of mouth have yielded positive results. I discovered Returnof4eva by Big K.R.I.T. and Codeine Cowboy by 2 Chainz. So I listened and I have to say that the hype is well deserved. The sound is explosive and quite eclectic. Granted he walks a lot of previously trod ground but the end result is quite appealing to the ears.

What really amazes me about A$AP Rocky is his delivery. Despite being from New York his drawl and his speech pattern evoke Houston rappers and much of the South. The liberal use of Southern vernacular such as ’lean’ and ‘trill’ also seems to enforce that thought. Maybe that is one of the reasons I have such an easy time listening to his music.

As always I would like to prescribe some of my favorite tracks for those who read this review. Here are a few:

-“Peso”-This song hits with a heavy bass and with a cooler vibe, the sort of song you’d ride to while smoking on something highly illegal. Something in the beat soothes you as if you were slipped something to calm anxiety. Although it’s a shorter song its 2:51 running time captures you from beginning to the end.

-“Demons”-At the beginning the voice distortion puts you right into the mindset of the title. As soon as A$AP begins to rap you are caught by the perfect mixture of contemplative thought and rap’s opulence and desires. Often you cannot find a perfect middle ground between the two but he seems to have found it. This song gives you a chill and plays out perfectly when you close your eyes. Try it.

-“Wassup”-I can’t honestly quantify this one. It has the club sound and could be a street anthem as well. The throbbing bass makes my heart beat a bit faster and I, being of the South, love that feeling. There is also a certain eeriness in the beginning samples of the song. It’s different and different usually transforms itself flawlessly into amazing. This is one of those times.

I am curious what he’ll do to follow this up. All I can say is that if you haven’t already, jump on some A$AP Rocky as soon as possible.

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