LONG.LIVE.A$AP

 
(i)

 

Excellent but explicit rap debut; lots of iffy content.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

LONG.LIVE.A$AP is an ode to self-promotion and swagger, though occasionally Rocky touches on socially conscious topics.

Positive role models

Rocky prides himself on being selfish, egotistical, confrontational, and hypersexual -- not someone you want your kids to look up to.

Violence

There are plenty of lyrics about guns and violent acts, but that's more a by-product of the hip-hop lexicon than the focus of the songs; it's not exactly "gangsta" rap.

Sex

Pretty much every sex act is graphically described or alluded to; Rocky presents himself as the ultimate womanizer.

Language

A plethora of vulgarities throughout the album, from the hit single "F--kin' Problems" (the hook: "I love bad bitches, that's my f--kin' problem")  to "PMW" (short for P---y, Money, Weed) and everywhere else, expect to hear every curse word in the book ("N" word, "c--k," "motherf----r," etc.), and probably some you never even knew existed. Even the "clean" version of the album is probably dirtier than what you'd hope your kids would listen to, but that's fairly typical of the hip-hop world.

Consumerism

As with many rap releases, the general theme here seems to be acquiring and spending money. A$AP is notoriously fashion-obsessed, so unsurprisingly he drops brand names left and right (especially in the designer-naming track "Fashion Killa"), including Audemars Piguet, Margiela, Mercedes-Benz, Bentley, Hummer, Dolce & Gabbana, and Hennessy.  

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Constant references to smoking weed and drinking expensive alcohol; glorifies drug use (including "sniffing cocaine") in basically every song. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while A$AP Rocky is a good rapper making very interesting music filled with a lot of ideas, his songs are also completely explicit and materialistic, promoting a life of excess and hedonism. Pretty much every curse word ("N" word, "c--k," "motherf----r," etc.) is found on LONG.LIVE.A$AP, as well as graphic descriptions of every sex act. There are constant references to drugs and alcohol, and getting high one way or the other is celebrated in every song. While the album may be excellent for adult rap fans, it isn't appropriate for kids and younger teens.

What's the story?

Harlem's A$AP Rocky is a vulgar and cocky rising star trying to turn himself into a hip-hop icon, enlisting the hottest contemporary rap stars for features on his major label debut, including Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and 2Chainz. Following more than a year of Internet hype and popular mixtapes, A$AP's first proper album further explores his "pretty motherf---a" persona, a character who's all about "swag" and getting rich and famous. Now that he actually is rich and famous, the boasting and muddled social criticism seems more relevant and honest to the image Rocky has created for himself.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Rocky and his cohorts continue to utilize the ubiquitous "trap" style of rap that dominates the hip-hop charts currently. The beats are unique and interesting, bass-heavy and psychedelic, made by some of the top names in the business, including Clams Casino, Danger Mouse, and Skrillex. There are plenty of moments of introspection, and many more that are just fun wordplay over deep-tuned kick drums and swirling vocal samples. Easily A$AP's strongest effort so far. Too bad it's not appropriate for kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the trend of having guest stars on albums. Why do you think A$AP Rocky featured so many of the other biggest stars in rap on his debut album? 

  • What do you think of the fact that he collaborated with electronic music titan -- but hip-hop novice -- Skrillex? What does each get out of the partnership?

  • Is it necessary to have such graphic sex and violence in hip-hop lyrics? Why or why not?

Music details

Artist:A$AP Rocky
Release date:January 15, 2013
Type:Album
Label:RCA
Genre:Hip-hop
Parental advisory:Yes
Edited version available:Yes

This review of LONG.LIVE.A$AP was written by

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 14 years old Written byCWG1 March 23, 2014
 

Great album from the great rapper A$AP Rocky

This album is pretty amazing, but be warned parents because it features pervasive language that is used in lots of forms. When I say forms I mean in the context it is used such as sexually or if it is drug related. Parents I know that some of you want to keep your kids away from rap or language, but look they are already exposed to it. Even if they don't hear crude language and sexual talk at home they probably hear it at school. You can't keep your child shielded from this stuff forever.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byRhinoceros February 12, 2014
 

Great music

My parents let me choose my downloads on a budget since i started 6th grade. Now, i pay for all the songs i buy myself. This album is worth the money and i would recommend it for mature 13+.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 11 years old January 30, 2013
 

Good but graphic... Very graphic

It's good but inappropriate
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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