I began writing some sort of weird farcical review for A$AP Rocky’s upcoming album, LongLiveA$AP. The premise was the album has already been delayed twice (the first time for a month until October 31, and most recently to early 2013), and I was ultimately going to bitch and complain a lot about delayed albums and how that typically doesn’t bode well for the album. In particular, it doesn’t bode well for an artist who hasn’t released a studio album yet and is the musical equivalent to a rookie quarterback in the NFL. Sure, you saw him dominate in the lower ranks, but the jury’s out until we see where the big label influx of production money lands our Fabergé egg talent.
I decided to scrap above premise because I couldn’t exactly figure out what track to take with the whole thing. Instead, I decided to do a big ole’ boring song review of a track that gives me hope that LongLiveA$AP still has a legitimate chance to propel my favorite young unestablished hip-hop prospect into superstardom.
“F*ckin Problem” got dropped a couple weeks ago, quickly garnering my attention for its star-power, succinct verses, slick but hard-hitting production and of course 2 Chainz’ banging hook. Let’s go in order for all the aforementioned attributes.
First, the star power. You’ve got hot, but unproven, A$AP, rising hype man 2 Chainz, album of the year candidate Kendrick Lamar, and the awful but somehow very popular Drake. You’re not going to find many tracks this loaded with marquee names in hip-hop this year. A$AP tries his best to deliver the line “They say money make a n*gga act n*gger-ish/ But at least a n*gga n*gga rich” like Kanye, and succeeds completely. In the same vein, Kendrick’s flow brings to mind a less unhinged early career Lil’ Wayne (which is a great compliment).
Not only did all these names get assembled, but they all add a very distinct spice to the stew. Nothing is superfluous. A$AP and Kendrick kill it, with Drake doing well not to kill the momentum between the two. And, oh man, 2 Chainz’ expletive-laced hook is gangster tonic. It is a stupid, repetitive ode to sexual addiction…and I love it. 2 Chainz just snarls “I love bad b*tches, that’s my f*ckin problem/ And yeah I like to f*ck, I got a f*ckin problem”, and rap hooks don’t get much better.
The production of Noah “40” Shebib drives the entire track. I won’t pretend to know anything about this guy, but his production style on “F*ckin Problem” is kind of like a mix between the synth backing Jim Jonsin provided for Gucci Mane’s “Grown Man” and Clams Casino’s phenomenal work on A$AP’s 2011 mixtape LiveLoveA$AP. If Shebib continues this kind of work, I feel we will see a lot of him in the near future.
For the latest greatest banger, you could do much worse than “F*ckin Problem” but you’re gonna be hard pressed to do much better. In the words of A$AP, Kendrick, and Drake…”BEAST”.
Note: Usually I hate edited versions of songs, but the edited version of “F*ckin Problem” edits the expletives so expertly, you would almost think it was meant to be the original. Check it out on Spotify.