A$AP Rocky, also known as: A$AP or simply, Rocky, has followed the trend of 2015 rap artists releasing artsy experiments, much like Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly.” A$AP Rocky’s “At. Long. Last. A$AP” is an album that will leave listeners very satisfied, already looking forward to A$AP’s next album.
“Holy Ghost” is a title for the third figure in the Holy Trinity described in Christianity. The central theme of the song is about the tension between selling your soul to the Devil for success and trying to maintain a clean soul at the same time. The song has a very powerful, somber tone that keeps a serious mood. The multiple guitar tracks playing lead and rhythm intertwining notes, flows beautifully with the slow bass and drumbeats. A$AP keeps his rhymes tight and meaningful throughout the verses of the song, portraying an image of fighting through life in a less fortunate environment. The church-like choir in the chorus finishes off the song with a message from A$AP pleading the Holy Ghost to help him. It’s a simple, yet very effectively produced track with meaningful lyrics and somber instrumentals.
“Canal Street” has a similar feel to “Holy Ghost”, but it provides more of a sophisticated tune. Numerous instrumental tracks are produced together throughout the song, with a special effects piano played as the main track. The change of beat (though, keeping the tempo the same) in the background of the song provides a nice flare, keeping the song fresh throughout, while A$AP raps about the hustle lifestyle that took place for him in Manhattan.
“LSD” is an impressively produced song that has a psychedelic influence to it. The slowly played notes on the specially effected guitar in the intro leaves listeners at a relaxed, trippy vibe. Additionally, dark, low-pitched bass notes practically slap the listeners in the face with their harsh tones. Its brilliant transition from the high notes on the guitar or keyboard, to the dark bass notes, and specially effected vocals, gives the listeners an artsy, musical treat. A$AP Rocky’s artsy heart was poured out into this song, making it one of the best songs on “At. Long. Last. A$AP”.
While “LSD” is one of the best songs on the album, “Excuse Me” is even more impressive. The song was written with the intentions of A$AP collecting his respect amongst the rap community, saying “excuse me” as a metaphorical brush off to all of his critics. There is a mysterious tremolo violin tune in the background intertwined with a strings pad effect, which creates two unique sounds (among other minor sounds and effects) with a deep bass. The chorus is extremely creative with a plethora of special effects on the bass and secondary instrumental tracks playing in and out of the chorus to keep it fresh. A$AP’s lyrics and verses in this song are some of his finest work on the album. Arguably the best part of the song is the second verse where there are additional instrumentals to the existing instrumentals. Most notably, the high-pitched, tenor choir in the background achieves a musical “wow” factor for the listeners throughout the entire verse, leading to Rocky changing his speed of rap until the end of the verse. The song in itself is an adventure musically, and definitely allows the listener to expand their imaginations.
Max B is a Harlem rapper whom was given a 75-year jail sentence for his crimes. As a result Rocky dedicates this song to him because of the cases he could have caught. Rocky did not disappoint as he came through with another superlative song that possesses a faster tempo than most on the album. The unique verse instrumental combination of brass, woodwinds and percussions provide a multi-cultured feel to the song. Rocky lays out an anthem of grinding daily through a tough neighborhood, portraying the efforts to provide for himself by any means necessary. A$AP’s risky actions could’ve landed him exactly where Max B is. Rocky acknowledges how the hustling and grinding lifestyle could end your life with one wrong move.
A$AP goes out with a bang with “Every Day” and “Back Home”. “Everyday” was the first single released from the album before the album was released. It is a remix of a song that uses a beat originally created by Rod Stewart. Considered by many to be the hit song of the album, Rocky again uses an authentic, retro sound to the song. The main instrumental is a church organ playing chords, with a low bass, various drumbeats and secondary instrumentals in the background. A classic song with a new aged added production leaves fans of all ages appreciative of this tune. A$AP’s songs are following a very artistic, retro theme for most of the album. Even “Back Home” is another original beat created by the Jaggerz. With this song and many others, an added musical production by A$AP Rocky, A$AP Yams, Danger Mouse, DJ Khalil and many others, this album has greatness in every track. These two songs are a fantastic way to close out “At. Long. Last. A$AP,” as A$AP makes his mark on the music industry for 2015.
“At. Long. Last. A$AP” is a wild ride from track to track. While it produced some great songs and beats, it didn’t quite reach the elite status of his previous album “Long. Live. A$AP”. Artists want to push themselves to different heights through experimentation, and A$AP Rocky successfully did so with flying colors. Not an elite album, but a fantastic one nonetheless.
Overall score: 8.5/10.
Brandon Carusillo is a senior majoring in public relations and minoring in psychology. He’s from Coral Springs and wants to work as an entertainment agent when he graduates. He loves music, sports, writing and photography.
words_brandon carusillo. photo_ rca records.