A$AP ROCKY: TESTING (ALBUM REVIEW)
By Babatope Oladipo
1st June, 2018
1st June, 2018
After a while we thought the fashion world had stolen Lord Flacko but on the 25th of March 2018 A$AP gave us Testing. Despite the fact that A$AP had been featured on a couple of tracks over the years (Skepta’s Vicious, the Mob’s Cozy Tapes Vol. 2, etc), we craved the special touches he gives his Albums. His previous album, AT.LONG.LAST.ASAP, was a masterpiece, giving us jams like L$D, Wavybone and Westside Highway. It even held the No. 1 spot on Billboard 200 for a while as well as going Platinum, easily! It's still quite early to start getting stats for sales but it is one of the highest streamed songs right now with 13,942,741 plays.
ASAP Rocky told GQ a few months back that his new album would be about "testing new sounds", how he doesn't just rap but makes music.
GQ - So when we saw you in London recently, you were on a phone-off lockdown, making an album. What was the vibe—the starting point for the new album?
ASAP - My new album is really about testing new sounds. People are scared to test new sounds, so they go with what's current 'cause it's the easy thing to do. The top 100 songs sound a certain way. People cater more to that because it's a bigger demographic behind that, or it's a guaranteed demographic behind that. I prefer to experiment and have my crowd grow with me and to reach new crowds. I don't just rap—I actually make music. That's why it takes time. These sonics represent me.
The project bangs with influences coming from such polar ends as Juciy J and Frank Ocean. The album has some singing, recorded collect call from Kodak, spoken words (Brother-man and some parts of Changes), psychedelic features(Fukk Sleep & Brother Man) and what not. If you ask us, we feel this is A$AP’s most experimental album, we're used to his style of delivery/production but he gave us a lil ‘sumn ‘sumn here
The little surprises don't end at the collect call or Snoop Dogg’s guest appearance, as he features Blocboy JB on OG Beeper where he does only adlibs (Why! Why! - Blocboy). Then on Asap Forever we hear those ear soothing hums from Kid Cudi, absolute ear candy .
The experimenting doesn't stop there
He features Frank Ocean on both Brother man and Purity where Frank's wavy essentials are felt. I'm sure when you listen you'll see the similarity in those two songs. A$AP didn't leave his UK ties out of the album. We see features BBK’s Skpeta (Praise The Lord) & FKA Twigs. Somehow, A$AP always finds a way to murk grime beats and this song didn’t disappoint as it's going to be the new anthem 🔊. The song was produced by Skepta and also features his ever so appealing disjointed style of rap.
“...and I'll like to give a shout out to my niggas with the game plan
And shout out to my niggas with escape plans…” - A$AP Rocky
Following this recent rap beef between Drake and PUSHA T, new Info has it that A$AP gave Pusha the necessary material for the Drake’s recent roast and on the 3rd song in the album - Tony Tone, we think Lord Flacko might have also thrown shade at Drake
“...type of nigga sprays his kid in some chick he wouldn't raise his kids with…” - A$AP Rocky
The album generally sees A$AP reminding the world that he's still a formidable rapper and I'm sure he has passed his message across with a wide variety of sounds and not so much wordplay/lyrical flavour