Finally A$AP Rocky
Three years since releasing AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP, A$AP Rocky releases his third studio album, Testing. After Instagram posts teasing the album and a brilliant marketing campaign the record is finally here.
The album is aptly named due to its nature of testing new sounds and featuring artists in new ways. A$AP Rocky promises this is his best work yet.
But can it live up to the hype?
Since the release of his highly acclaimed first mixtape LIVE.LOVE.A$AP, critics feel his subsequent work falls short of expectations.
Will this be the album that finally quiets the critics and delivers an experience greater than his first mixtape?
Let’s get into it.
Testing certainly delivers on the promise of testing new sounds. The album opens with “Distorted Records”, a track that is exactly as it sounds and serves as an intro to the album.
The project boasts features from dozens of artists, however they’re not utilized as you’d expect. Most of the features are just from the artists ad-libbing during certain parts of the song. Like including a call from Kodak Black while he was incarcerated this past year.
For me, highlights of the album are “Purity” featuring Frank Ocean and “Black Tux, White Collar”. These two songs are probably the least experimental on the album and focus way more on strong, meaningful lyrics.
If Rocky were to take this approach with the rest of his songs it would get him closer to getting back to the artist we were introduced to with LIVE.LOVE.A$AP.
The biggest low on the album for me was the editing of “A$AP Forever”. Originally released as a single, A$AP teamed up with fellow New Yorker Moby to create a distinct song. However in the album this song was edited to include T.I. and Kid Cudi, two non-New Yorkers who completely changed the vibe that made the song so good.
My Final Take
While Testing is a great album, I think A$AP Rocky has fallen short of his first mixtape. This is the third time in a row he has not delivered, but I do not see this as the downfall of his career. Only 29, A$AP Rocky shows glimpses of getting back to his original greatness. It’s only a matter of time before he puts it all together on one album .
You can find his new album on all major streaming services now. SOUNDCLOUD offers the album for free.
Wes is a college student at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and a Sports & Entertainment Contributor for On The Scene.
Guest contributors are the opinion of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Creative Allies Inc. or its affiliates.