Hip-Hop Happenings: Long. Live. A$AP.

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Although the long wait was the biggest complaint about A$AP Rocky’s major label debut, “Long. Live. A$AP,” Rocky delivered the album as soon as he possibly could and succeeded in giving his fans the album for which they patiently waited.

After sample clearances and production touch-ups set the album’s release date back from Sept. 11, 2012 to Oct. 31, 2012, “Long. Live. A$AP” was officially released on Jan. 15, 2013.

Even though a September release would have been ideal, it would have been even more appropriate for Rocky to drop the album on Oct. 31, the one-year anniversary of the release of the “Live. Love. A$AP” mixtape that helped put the Harlem emcee in the position he is in today.

“Long. Live. A$AP” serves as a perfect continuation to what A$AP started on “Live. Love. A$AP.” The southern-rap influence is just as apparent as Rocky spits over flawlessly produced spacey, trap beats.

And although the sound and feel is similar to the mixtape, “Long. Live. A$AP,” easily stands on its own as the 24-year-old artist’s debut studio album.

Debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard charts proves the leak had little to no impact on album sales. The album sold 169,000 copies its first week, and the second single, “F**kin’ Problems,” a collaboration with Drake, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar, is currently the No. 5 single on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart.

I believe the song, “1 Train,” to be one of the most important collaborations in the “new age” of hip-hop. The chorus-less track includes verses from A$AP himself, Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Yelawolf, Danny Brown, Action Bronson and Big K.R.I.T.

The 1-Train, as explained by Rocky, is the one that hits all the stops. With a Hit-Boy beat that throws your senses into the grimy reality of a New York subway atmosphere, each stop gives your ears a sample of what each of the new-aged, hip-hop lyricists sound like.

With his versatility and melting-pot style, A$AP Rocky embodies the modern-day emcee. Rappers today are connected to and influenced by the east, west, south, black, white, past, future, drug users, sober and more.

One thing that influences each and every one of these guys is their talent. And “Long. Live. A$AP” is further evidence that A$AP Rocky is guilty of possessing the type of talent that helps rappers live forever.

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