A$AP Rocky has had a pretty decent career. From a practical level he’s done everything he rapped about doing in his first mixtape. He’s sold out shows, slept with (mostly white) beautiful women and is as respected as a rapper can be in the fashion world. He’s done well for himself.
Right now A$AP Rocky’s career is like the end of San Andreas after you kill officer Tenpenny, there’s not a lot to do besides put his crew on. Besides helping A$AP Mob, Rocky is just running victory laps...he should be at least.
With that said, let’s get into his new album, Testing.
Some of y’all are probably surprised like “oh A$AP Rocky dropped an album??” Because Rocky got caught in the shadow of the only other rapper with Box Braids in 2018. Pusha T. Seriously what are the odds the only niggas with Braids drop albums on the SAME day?? I wonder if they’ve ever done a song together, honestly I’d even appreciate a series of sit-downs where they explain why they both love having braids. Call it Cornrow Convos. Anyway Rocky got lost in the shuffle of the Pusha T/Drake/Kanye beef. Sucks for Rocky but he should know by now Controversy sells, he should’ve said some wild shit like Iggy Azalea is prettier than Beyoncé or wore Girbaud’s with the straps during Fashion Week. That would’ve at least got some attention. But I digress, let’s get to the music.
I’ll be honest, I don’t think Rocky really likes rapping too much anymore, actually I take that back, I don’t think he likes making albums anymore. Testing is 15 tracks that are just, there. There’s not much cohesion and some songs feel unfinished for the sake of feeling unfinished. It reminds me of those music videos done with old VHS cameras. It’s a cool concept at first but then you remember we live in the future to avoid that aesthetic.
Don’t get it twisted though, A$AP can still rap, and he’s still pretty good. He knows how to express himself and get to crux of whatever’s on his mind. This album just has a weird high quality low quality vibe. It’s like wearing brand new Jordan’s with a Musty thrift store shirt that you CHOSE not to wash. Once I got used to the vibe I enjoyed the tape but it took a lot of effort. Again it’s not Rocky’s fault but Testing is not the album you wanna drop to compete with a beef between Pusha T and Drake. It’s like saying “hey I know the Mayweather/McGregor fight is on right now but you should come to my house and play Street Fighter 2 on my 4K TV” it’s a hard sell.
The content of this Album is pretty interesting, A$AP Rocky spits his usual “I’m flyer than you, you’re saying Givenchy wrong” raps, but after some time he gets to what’s really on his mind: He’s stuck in an emotional rut. Rocky like most 80s babies is now watching all of his Exes move on and get married. He’s realizing that no amount of stunting can shit on your Ex finding the love of her life. It’s a hard truth to accept. This was hands down my favorite part of the Album, listening to A$AP try to swag rap about his regrets and feelings is incredible.
This album feels like you ran into A$AP on the street and spent the day with him. It’s a whirlwind of shit that doesn’t necessarily make sense all the time, but when the dust settles you see a guy who’s trying to figure out his place in the world. That’s relatable as fuck.
It’s just bad this album came out the same time Pusha T called Drake a deadbeat dad.
I give Testing 7 Nextel chirps Out Of 10.