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A$AP Rocky 

LIVELOVEA$AP (RCA/Polo Grounds Music)

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If there’s such a thing as postmodern rap, A$AP Rocky’s LIVELOVEA$AP qualifies: he’s a Harlem native who raps with a brazen Houston drawl and admires grills and purple syrup, who spits like the swaggering spawn of Odd Future and The Cool Kids, and whose name is a little too reminiscent of still-active MC Aesop Rock. Which would be fine if he brought anything new to the table; remove those novelties and the few standout tracks (“Palace,” “Bass”), and the all you can say is that A$AP Rocky doesn’t detract from the beats, especially the psychedelic yet trunk-rattling beats of Clams Casino, who produces a third of the album and salvages it into something worth listening to.

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Vol 25, No 20
October 12, 2017

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