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“At.Long.Last.A$AP” an unremarkable tribute

By Nick Mullen / Staff Writer

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“At.Long.Last.A$AP”

A$AP Rocky

Released: May 25

Grade: B+

After much speculation and delay, the sophomore album from hip-hop artist A$AP Rocky, “At.Long.Last.A$AP,” dropped unexpectedly on May 25.

Compared with the hazy, slightly eerie but ultimately energized and swaggy music of Rocky’s preceding works, Long.Live.A$AP” and “Live.Love.A$AP,” “At.Long.Last.A$AP”takes a dark and druggy turn, with Rocky opening up on the album to talk about the death of his crewmate, A$AP Yams.

The album features Yams, who died from an accidental drug overdose in January, midway through production. Rocky continued “At.Long.Last.A$AP” in his own style, with a distinct flow combining swagger and steadiness. Even when varying the speed of his flow, he doesn’t misstep, and the dark, synth-heavy production echoes his style. His effortlessness and arrogance shine through the lyrics and combine well with the airy and spacey beats, similar to those on “Long.Live.A$AP.” “At.Long.Last.A$AP”, while featuring verses from Kanye West and ScHoolboy Q, is a much less boisterous affair than “Long.Live.A$AP,” which featured multiple successful singles and verses from Drake and Kendrick Lamar, and production from Skrillex and Hit-Boy, who produced hits including Kanye West’s “Mercy” and “Clique.”

The final song on the album, “Back Home,” is a tribute to Yams. With a fast and cluttered beat, Rocky muses about his rise to fame and his deep friendship with A$AP Yams. Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, joins in on a verse. A record of Yams’ voice closes the song with a long, explicit quote praising the A$AP Mob. Yams founded this group of rappers in 2007, and they paved the way for rappers to fully form careers based on Internet hype.

Despite Yams’ fatal struggle with drug abuse and addiction, Rocky remains indifferent about his drug use. A looming psychedelic influence on the album and slow guitar notes in “L$D,” making the track sound trippy. The song, which is an ode to the drug, features echoed backing vocals, a soft beat and a slow melody in the bridge. Rocky personifies the drug as a woman, singing, “I look for ways to say I love you/But I ain’t into making love songs/I’m just rapping to this LSD.”

At.Long.Last.A$AP” marks a significant turning point in the young but established career of A$AP Rocky, separate from his work with A$AP Yams.

After meeting in 2007, Yams and Rocky were a team until Yams’ passing. Rocky was the flashy and talented showman with eccentric fashion and energetic performances, while Yams worked behind the scenes to promote Rocky. As the executive producer of “Live.Love.A$AP,” Yams produced and marketed Rocky’s debut mixtape, which led to his current success.

While “Long.Live.A$AP” was both a critical and a commercial success, “At.Long.Last.A$AP” is shaping up to appeal only to Rocky’s niche, devoted audience. The psychedelic and ‘80s rock influence isn’t enough to impress critics, and the album has yet to produce any hits that are as popular as those from “Long.Live.A$AP.”  

What made “Long.Live.A$AP”so successful was how seamlessly Rocky mixed hit rap with an artistic flare. With psychedelic influence and tepid songs like “L$D,” “At.Long.Last.A$AP”is a decent yet unexciting entry into Rocky’s catalog.

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“At.Long.Last.A$AP” an unremarkable tribute