I don’t know how I should really feel about this mixtape. ASAP on one hand, is a perfect example of how mainstream success in hip hop music is not necessarily a result of talent, as much as giving people more of the same usual lyrics. Money, designer clothes, and women. On the other hand, this album is actually somewhat listenable, at least for the beats. Most people may recognize the crews rising star, ASAP Rocky. But this disc is actually more about his crew, rather than just him.
ASAP is not really doing anything original, instead they are just reinventing the trill scene that originated in Texas, as exemplified by their affinity for codeine cough syrup and slowed down music. With that said, they do manage to at least blend in their own style, a little bit. Most of their music sounds more like New York style with trill influence. But that is not really enough to save them.
For me, the highlight of this whole mixtape is the beats. The lyrics are o.k. at best, and repetitive. There are only so many times I can listen to people talk about how gangster they are, and the labels of clothing that I either can’t afford or wouldn’t want to wear anyway. And while the words may rhyme, they are not really innovative, or for that matter, original. It’s just another crew of rappers doing what has been done before. If I read the lyrics without hearing the voice, I wouldn’t be able to tell you if was them, or any number of other mainstream artists.
Hip hop is a dying culture, and rappers with no real talent are helping to kill it. For all their talk about wanting to be different, they are really just another fad. And an average one at that. If you are a hip hop fan, this record might be worth checking out, at least for the beats. The songs Full Metal Jacket and Told Ya come to mind. The first sports a simple, but catchy beat. The second has a slower, almost surreal sounding beat that is probably even more enjoyable after ingesting the drugs that the whole crew endorses. But once again the lyrics are not good enough to make them truly great. The whole mixtape can be downloaded for free on datpiff.com, which is good considering I wouldn’t pay for it.
I almost want to like these guys; they are putting their own stamp on the scene. But they just aren’t good enough to really leave me dying to hear more of their music. I have heard some of their freestyles in the past to make me interested, but it is easy to spot an artist selling themselves short in order to obtain mass appeal. This album is a good example of that. It is listenable, but not great and could be a whole lot better. Maybe next time.