Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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A$AP Rocky

  • Long.Live.A$AP [Polo Grounds/RCA, 2013] B+
  • At.Long.Last.A$AP [Polo Grounds/RCA, 2015] **

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Long.Live.A$AP [Polo Grounds/RCA, 2013]
For six highly listenable, casually unmatched tracks, every beat hooks without being obvious enough about it--in a telling segue, a track that rides a Clams Casino glitch precedes a track that rides a Clams Casino Santigold cameo. Skillfully but never dazzlingly, congenially but never charismatically, with entertainment value added by a screwed-and-chopped alter ego, Rocky raps over the music without saying a damn thing older, meaner, and sharper rappers haven't said before. Then, bang, three dynamite songs, starting with an attention grabber bearing the asterisks-in-original title and literal message "F**kin' Problems," followed by a f**k-you banger from the Skrillex songbook and the terrific virtual-posse "1 Train": hello goodbye to Kendrick Lamar, Joey Badass, Yelawolf, Danny Brown, Action Bronson, and Big K.R.I.T. Then, aww, three tracks that could be more obvious by half. B+

At.Long.Last.A$AP [Polo Grounds/RCA, 2015]
'60s-besotted entertainer pays a '60s-begotten entertainer formerly long ago as Rod the Mod for his most entertaining track ("Everyday," "Max B") **