We are all curators. We all exist in two worlds, the virtual and the material, and they affect each other greatly. What you do in real life is translated into the virtual world, through your various tethers to it, like your Instagram account with the punny username and a follower-to-following ratio that you've always been a little self conscious of or your Tumblr where you compile an ongoing collection of exclusively black-and-white portraits of semi-nude demigods. Others' perception of us is a reflection of our image in both of these interconnected worlds, and in a world where everything is trying to be "social," the image you curate online is seen and perceived by everyone in your real world.
A$AP Rocky's sophomoric effort At.Long.Last.A$AP or A.L.L.A is a discussion of this new society of curators we have created. In it, our baby faced Pretty Flacko takes us on a refreshingly self-aware journey with a lyrical prowess and conceptual confidence we have yet to see in his previous work, which, in many listeners' opinions, was lacking in substance. With this effort, A$AP has seemingly grown into himself, keeping his vibe-out Harlem goon-squad roots strong and apparent, while sprouting intelligent lyrics and great production to boot.
The album begins with an interpolated homage to the Cohen Brother's O Brother, Where Art Thou in which KKK Grand Wizard turned Mississipi gubernatorial candidate Wayne Duvall interrupts a Soggy Bottom Boy's performance to exclaim "And, I have it from the highest authority that that negra sold his soul to the devil!" However, Rocky flips the line on its head, "Ay, I have a message from the Most High that says: / This negra kept his soul from the Devil'" following up with "It's true, I guess I mean, wait a minute now, / Is your people really that God damn ign'ant? Really? Really?" implying Pretty Flacko's opinion that anyone that believes anyone that says they got by without having to sell their soul must be ignorant, because it's impossible. Rocky's album is rich with religious symbolism, providing him with a solid foundation of production of gospel beats and high soaring choruses.
In his new album, A$AP Rocky seems uninterested in expending energy on chart topping, continuing a recent trend among artists like Kendrick and Drake. Although that is not to say, this album is without its singles. Early on in the album Rocky teams up with old partner in crime Schoolboy Q on "Electric Body" for a track that has already cemented itself near the top of the pecking order of SUMMER 2015 BANGERZ with the rappers’ disjointed flows being broken up by a low down, sultry, melodic hook, reminiscent of Kanye’s "Bound 2" only drizzled in lean with a light dusting of yeyo (the best synonym for cocaine, obviously). With this track, in addition to "Everyday" featuring Rod Stewart and Miguel, a banging "fourfiveseconds" genre-bending look-alike, "Jukebox Joints" with the one and only Kanye West and the behemoth of a street banger "Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2," A$AP Rocky and company have put forth a strong early contender for rap album of the summer, only time will tell if they, and A.L.L.A, have the staying power to keep us bumping all summer long.
This bio is dedicated to all the teachers that told me
I'd never amount to nothin', to all the people that lived above the
buildings that I was hustlin' in front of that called the police on
me when I was just tryin' to make some money to feed my daughter, it's all good baby baby