“Long.Live.A $ AP” after 5 years
Long.Live.A $ AP, released exactly five years ago, is an extremely rare example of how a young promising artist managed to sit on two chairs at once. Usually, guys like Rakim are faced with the following problem – the greedy fat A & R of a large label hangs over them, and he already has a clear album structure in his head that should target everyone – boys, girls, backpackers, dandies and ghetto blacks. For each segment of the audience on the album should have its own song, for the most solvent – a single for TV, radio and clubs, the intro should be ambitious, and the outro should be soulful. Naturally, with such initial conditions, the album cannot turn out to be solid and authentic in sound, and in the zero years this formula (by which 90% of the records were released) destroyed a large number of interesting artists who had to play by the rules of their owners.
Now, five years later, managers of large labels honestly admit to themselves that they are not able to embrace the tastes of young people with their mind and give their wards a maximum of creative freedom. At the same time, Rocky, who had already released the iconic debut mixtape, had an almost impossible task – to reach the pop audience and not lose his face and unique style. And he did it because he is cool.
Long.Live.A $ AP laid out before the audience a whole fan of musical ideas, which in 2012 were either at the very edge of the trends, or even ahead of their time – there were a lot of Clams Casino, which had not yet become an icon of cloud rap, there was almost not the last bit of the hottest and most stylish then producer T-Minus (then he gained faith in God and ceased to be friends with bad guys), there was a completely powerful “Wild for the Night” with Scrillex – almost the first hit of EDM-hop, the next two years, tightly clogging all the rotations and warm-ups at concerts. Rocky, like a sponge, absorbed any new and interesting sound, and sounded natural in it.
Creative people like Rocky are called visionaries, and their ability to process ideas into something tasty and interesting, as a rule, extends beyond the musical sphere. Therefore, Long.Live.A $ AP looks even more interesting in a wide context – along with it, for example, there were clips with breathtaking outfits, after which then a much more conservative genre expanded the cultural frame within which it could be considered cool and avoided lice charges. Eclecticism combining the most street and the most fashionable (crazy Crackhead Gunplay with a tattooed swastika on the back, fiercely reading over the sample of the hipster singer Imogen Hip on the track “Ghetto Symphony”) completely disarmed the conservatives.
As a rule, it is customary to scold Rakima for the lack of a substance in the tracks (he always reminded artists from the southern states more than his fellow countrymen), but actually the ability to chase the “lyrics” is much more common than the ability to make delicious and high-quality pop music. product with original ideas. Until 2012, New York was inhabited by gloomy commercially unattractive lovers of Vutanga and G-unit, but with the release of Long.Live.A $ AP the stagnation ended, and the hip-hop scene of the city became much more eclectic, increasingly resembling a mix of dozens of different sounds with all over the world.