By Maurice Bobb
Album leak be damned. Looks like Harlem’s new favorite son, A$AP Rocky, will land at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 next week when the chart’s Top 10 albums will be revealed. According to industry estimates, Pretty Flacko’s major-label debut, Long.Live.ASAP (Polo Grounds/RCA), will move around 130,000 units by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, January 20.
Not too shabby for the neophyte MC named after Paid in Full’s Rakim, one of the best to ever do it. Fueled by the incendiary single, “F-ckin’ Problems,” which features hip-hop stalwarts 2 Chainz, Kendrick Lamar and Drake, and is in heavy rotation on urban radio and is a top five single on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, A$AP’s 12-track set gets better with every listen. More than just a charismatic wordsmith with a passion for fashion, the 24-year old Harlemite displays that he’s a student of the game, delivering 90’s era tracks like “1 Train,” which signify his growth as an artist.
“As soon as I turned 24 I said, ’I gotta stop acting 18’ — on the real, I gotta stop having fights, pissing in public, spitting, and I just gotta chill,” A$AP told MTV News. “I gotta act like an adult for once and I had to change. This album is more advanced; it’s like [I] graduated. It took me a year to do it, so everything I’ve been going through — as far as life inspiration — is all from within this past year after I got my record deal. Live.Love.A$AP [is life] before the record deal and Long.Live.A$AP is after the deal.”