Even with the unfortunate and sudden death of A$AP Mob member Yams back in January, A$AP Rocky releases At.Long.Last.Asap, the follow up to Long.Live.A$AP. Produced with the help of Danger Mouse and the late Yams, At.Long.Last.A$AP is a psychedelic rap trip woozy and heavy with content of grief, drugs, and temptations.
With the popular releases of “F**kin’ Problems” and “Goldie” backed by big hip-hop names like Drake and Kendrick Lamar, it comes as a surprise At.Long.Last.A$AP. is filled with deeper content than counting bank rolls and heavy sex references. At a lengthy 18 tracks, it is a divergence from Rocky’s place in conventional hip hop into a sludgy well-produced daring disaster of emotion. Yes, the showcasey collaborations are all still there, “Wavybone” features Juicy J and UGK. Even Rod Stewart shows up on “Everyday,” and of course an over-sexualized oozy track is still present (“Electric Body feat. Schoolboy Q”) but A.L.L.A is a fogged out, blurry emotional music approach completely separate from the ostentatious “F**kin’ Problems” hooky hip hop we have grown used to.
The album not only serves as a tribute to Yams, but as a clear representation of dealing with grief, making Pretty Boy Flacko seem a bit more human. It is a weighted testimony to Rocky’s experiment with drugs to real life issues, to experimenting with the languid sound and rapping used throughout. It is easy to bypass any real emotion from Rocky when Kanye West appears on the old school sounding smooth track “Jukebox Joints,” but A.L.L.A somehow maintains a clear, although gooey path of self-discovering and internal anguishes and resolutions.
I could do without Rocky’s mention of past relationships with Iggy Azalea and one-time fling with Rita Ora (who is she and who cares?), but those are minor things that fall behind when stand out tracks such as “Canal St” exist. “Max B” is as real as it gets when scratchy vocals cry out, “And I hold back/Thoughts running through my head/Did I fuck it up/Did I fuck it up.” Rocky ambitiously mixes soul samples with swagged out beats on “LSD” that I found myself not caring the whole track was about sex and drugs.
With A.L.L.A, Rocky has mixed flawless production and artistry and the result is effective. This is not conventional catchy hip hop, but it is still interesting to listen to and perhaps proves that Rocky is more versatile than we have ever thought before.