LIVE.LONG.A$AP Mixtape Review: Pretty Face or Pretty Underrated

Cover+for+single%2C+Peso

Timi Fang

Cover for single, Peso

Reagan Gregory, Staff writer

A$AP Rocky, aka Pretty Boy Flacko, officially re-released his debut mixtape, LIVE.LOVE.A$AP, on streaming services to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its release. The mixtape, which was released in October 2011, was previously only available to listen through online downloads on websites like DatPiff and Zippyshare links. The newly released mixtape’s tracklist stayed relatively similar to its initial unofficial drop, sans the song order being moved around and the addition of Rocky’s first solo single in two years, “Sandman.” Setting the style for his later released work, this mixtape had seven different featured artists with 10 out of 15 songs being solo.

This mixtape was truly before its time when it was first released. The genre is cloud rap, a newer subgenre of rap that combines aspects of two extremely different genres of music: lofi and trap. Clams Casino, one of the main producers on this mixtape, was one of the early pioneers of the genre. Being released 10 years ago, this mixtape has shown to be timeless and does not feel dated to modern audiences. Trap music began to gain traction and become more popular around 2011, proving that LIVE.LOVE.A$AP really pushed the bounds by being completely different from what most listeners were accustomed to. 

If I were behind the rankings, LIVE.LOVE.A$AP would be a chart topper. This mixtape raises my standards for an artist’s debut work. There are multiple varying styles present throughout, and each of the features brings in unique new flows that keep the music interesting to listen to. There are also multiple tracks that share a similar type of production, allowing for the mixtape to cater to a larger audience, crucial to Rocky’s songs.

Some songs that I highly recommend are “Peso,” “Wassup,” “Get Lit,” “Keep it G,” and “Leaf.” These songs all fit into the feel of the album, yet push on the boundaries of the mixtape just enough to showcase all the ways that Rocky’s style can swing. “Peso” and “Wassup” feel more whimsical, while “Get Lit” contains a heavier synth than any other song on the album making it feel like it has a Tame Impala feature. “Keep it G” has a prominent jazz solo from a saxophone sample that plays throughout the background of the song. While all these songs have varying focuses, they have minor details that keep them from straying too far out from each other. 

I highly recommend this album to anyone who enjoys projects by Yung Lean, Maxo Cream, or any other artists in A$AP Mob. If you listen to any of Rocky’s more recent work, you should definitely check out this timeless mixtape. Once again, this mixtape goes to prove that Rocky is more than just a pretty face and that he has major talent that is unlike anything that the music industry has seen before.