NOTE: Essay originally posted on www.GrungyGentleman.com
I often imagine what 1994 on Lafayette Street in New York City must have been like: Teenagers in baggy jeans skate up the block, bobbing their heads to Biggie’s recently released Ready To Die album. Gimme the loot, gimme the loot! I’m…
Proportions, mang. Name of the game this year.
Cause this just came out.
Admittedly, I haven’t heard the whole thing yet, but the little that I’ve heard goes hard. There’s Clams Casino’s massively haunting production and the maniacal chants of Yelawolf’s verse on 1Train and 2 Chainz being 2 Chainz, among other highlights, collectively forming an album of destructive proportions. GQ declared “Bandz a Make Her Dance” as 2012’s official anthem for a “dry hump in the champagne room.” LONG.LIVE.A$AP turns any place into a dark, postmodern slow grind. Think Ginuwine on bath salts.
What excites me the most is the foreshadowing. Released early in the year, LONG.LIVE.A$AP hints at the shape of rap to come. Firstly, are we looking at a resurgence of chopped and screwed, perhaps in the mainstream? It’s a natural progression from dubstep’s slow passing. Hell, even JT puts it on half time on the upcoming ‘Suit and Tie’. JT knows what ALL the ladies like.
Second, the album provides a sample of our next generation of rappers. No one on the album is unknown, but many are off the radar. Thus, the mere juxtaposition of Joey Bada$$ and Action Bronson to Drake and Florence Welch is intriguing, almost cathartic. With Kendrick and Rocky himself playing intermediaries, the lines between mainstream and off-the-chart are blurred. The new Top 40 lays before us. Billboard even predicts “I Come Apart” to hit the pop channels soon. Although the notion of Yelawolf collaborating with Flo Rida (“Florida,” get it? GET IT?) is somewhat frightening.
Oh, listen to 1Train. Do it and never come back.
When did Hall & Oates become a hipster thing?
The splendor of nature (Taken with Instagram)