For hip hop fans, AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP was one of the most anticipated albums of the year. To the surprise, and delight of many, A$AP Rocky dropped it unannounced a week early. Now, it seems as though surprise album releases are becoming the newest music industry fad. Some (myself included) might even say that the surprise album is replacing the ever so popular "continuously postpone the release of your album until people forget about it and you can quietly scrap the project," yes I'm looking at you Dr. Dre.
Just a couple of weeks ago while on a road trip I was commenting (much to the chagrin of my fiancée) on how frustrated I was with this increasingly cliched trend. However, A$AP made me eat my words, which is a hard feat given my hard-headed and stubborn West Indian roots.
It's hard to follow up a debut album, even harder when that debut was a critical success. A$AP manages to follow up not by repeating the same formula, but by taking a left and expanding as an artist. If you're looking for bangers similar to "F**kin' Problems" or "Wild for the Night" this might not be for you, but then again you should reevaluate yourself and try to broaden your horizons. If you appreciate strong, deep lyrics and soulful beats you'll love this album and you'll recognize that A$AP isn't going anywhere anytime soon, and that's a good thing.
In this 18-song LP A$AP does something that many rappers of his generation rarely dare to do. He's honest, he's introspective and even his fear of love. Paired with the incredible features, including: Mos Def, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, M.I.A., and oh yes, Rod Stewart, it's an album I can't allow you to sleep on.
Written by Music Contributor, Roberto Henry