A$AP Rocky: Long. Live. A$AP


The latest to whet appetites on the strength of a mixtape, NYC native A$AP Rocky makes his full-length debut amid a near-deafening buzz. Despite the Harlem roots, his music is heavily informed by that syrupy Houston sound, with an undeniable pop-soul undercurrent on the club-ready "Fashion Killa." His use of dance elements is intriguing at times, particularly on "Hell" featuring Santigold. But most attention will settle on a three-song stretch mid-album featuring guest spots by Drake, Skrillex, and fellow mixtape phenoms Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz, and Danny Brown. The minimalist "Fuckin' Problems" and shallow club-jam "Wild for the Night" offer trite bravado-laden ego trips. Only the epic six-minute "1Train" lives up to the oversold promise. A decent, sometimes surprising first effort, but cut the baited breath. (3 out of 5 stars)