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A$AP Rocky, LiveLoveA$AP

After building an incredible buzz with his online smashes, “Purple Swag” and “Peso,” A$AP Rocky has already earned himself a multi-million dollar deal on Polo Grounds, as well as co-signs from Drake, Mos Def and Jim Jones, but until now, fans haven’t heard more than a handful of tracks from the 23-year-old upstart. With LiveLoveA$AP, the rapper’s first full-length project, the Harlemite proves that he’s more than just a flash in the pan—in fact, he’s got plenty of heatrocks to spare.

Much of the success of the project is due to Rocky’s distinct ear for beats. For LLA, the self-described “Pretty Motherfucker” selected the trippiest, most zoned-out instrumentals he could find. New Jersey’s own, Clams Casino—most known for his work with Lil B—provided a handful of the moody, atmospheric sounds (he did five joints in total), and with almost no drums on any of his respective songs, it’s pretty amazing to hear A$AP seamlessly float over the beats and still keep heads noddin’.

Adding genuine Southern flavor to the mix is DJ Burn One (Yelawolf, Pill). “Roll One Up” is a warm guitar-twanging cut that would sound at home on any of the early Rap-A-Lot releases, while “Houston Old Head” sounds like a hip-hop lullaby. Beautiful Lou samples some Pulp Fiction-esque surf-guitar for “Trilla,” borrowing a helping of swag from Houston’s legendary Screwed Up Click, while Soufein3000’s drugged out, “Get Lit,” has an entire verse slowed down in true DJ Screw fashion—a trick that is employed on many of LLA’s songs.

The sole outright dud is the Lex Luger clone, “Brand New Guy,” which finds Rocky doing his best Rick Ross impression (“wooo” adlibs included)—unfitting for a rapper whose strong point is his originality.

Although the music is undeniably the most exciting part of the tape, A$AP does little to get in the way, oftentimes, enhancing the beats with his Bone Thugs-N-Harmony inspired flows. On the tape’s closer, “Out of This World,” produced by The Olympicks (the only brand name beatmakers on the project), A$AP even surprises with his lyrical wordplay. “They say Tyga and Diggy/But Rocky been jiggy/Curren$y from the Wiz ain’t enough to get me home/Can’t really hate, when they comparing me to Drake/Could’ve been J. Cole, if I met Jay Hov.”

Even without that meeting, A$AP Rocky has found a way to do just fine for himself. —Jesse Gissen

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  • Wow

    Here’s the thing A$AP did his thing on here and he is next up in NYC. Belee Dat. Also Brand new Guy was the best track on the whole album give props to Q!


    A$AP are the future

  • A.C. Says 10%

    I didn’t see what the big deal was personally…..till i downloaded this. chit is nice!!

  • Pugz

    Brand New Guy is one of the strongsuits of the whole tape I’m not sure what the hell you guys are talking about. ScHoolboy kills it as well. And you even said it yourself that he is known for his originality and this tape is one of the most original of the year so explain to me why he got an “L” for originality? Doesn’t really make any sense to me.

    • Dortiz

      Exactly uptown nigga ripping southern beats but keeping that shit NY. Most original (Drip)

  • Dortiz

    A$AP is the illest shit to drop this year!!! Hear that intro?!? I live this shit everyday (Wash Heights)! Every track is poplin’ (Drip)! Some stand outs Houston Old Head, Acid Drip (Many nights in NY), Wassup, Get Lit (My favorite track), Peso (Everyday shit I watch this video every morning before I leave), Keep It G (I’m a G son everyday blasted, hey youngblood). Listen to this everyday Live Love A$AP. XXL should be the final verdict. A$AP crew much love and success this is the musical highlight of my life! Congrats on the $3,000,000.00 dill! (Drip)

  • bgtry65

    real talk he aint shit special

  • http://jerel@rapruler.com Jerel

    I agree with most of the stuff here except that “Brand New Guy” nonsense. That song is tough. My review is on rapruler.com


    Brand New Guy is one of the hottest tracks on the tape mann
    your fuggin crazy!

  • fucked up review

    Yall really fucked up with this review Brand New Guy is Fucking Retardedly Hot ,hottest Joint on the Tape! he really needed an Xl and a hafe for his originality Dumb Ass Review..bringing Excitment Back 2 NyC

  • SWAG

    “brand new guy” was the hottest joint along with “Palace”
    A$AP made me a fan

  • Fonz

    Yea dont know what dude thinking but “brand new Guy” is the first song i go straight too when i listen to the mixtape Schoolboy went off that. In all it should of gotten an XXL i was grocery shopping vibing to the whole banger all the way through. Something fresh from whats out. Go do ya review over homie and im not D!ck riding Rocky just a fan of good music.

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  • RickeyGambini

    How The FUCK is “Brand New Guy” the dud? XXLMAG is crazy….that was the HARDEST, Grittiest Track On the Album…he come in EXXTRA LIVE with “IM CAMO’d DOWN TO MY BOXERS….ITS ANIMALS IN MY PROJECTS…LIKE MONKEYS, ORANGUTANGS…” mayn…SchoolBoy Q goes IN! “This Mutha Fucka Hold 15, Slap That Bitch In, Tell The Clip Get Lost…” Mayn….THE WHOLE MIXTAPE…in MY OPINION…BESTOF THE YEAR!….XXL FRESHMAN! Flat OUT…

  • alfe187

    I would give this a XXL.

  • spaceynyc

    the review shouldve been

    Beats: XXL
    Lyrics: L
    Originality: XL
    Overall: XL

  • Malcolm

    Brand New Guy was a hot track. Rocky and Schoolboy Q ripped that shit apart. Q def outshined Rocky tho. But nevertheless they killed it.