A$AP Rocky falls short of exceptions with his debut, but at the same time lives up to them. Because, let’s face it: most of the people had expected Rocky to be unable to reach the dizzy heights of his widely praised mix-tape. The money bag might have weighed too much (Remember? There was an advance payment of 3 million Dollars!), the hype might have been deceiving, the rapper dressed in Alexander Wang might just be over-fed. All that combined with a release that kept being rescheduled, until it coincided with the wide spread New Year’s misery. The demand, however, was the same all along: A$AP Rocky was to become the new Kayne with his debut, the new 50 Cent; while, of course, keeping his very own trademark-sound and developing upon it. And Rocky fulfilled the demand as if his pockets weren’t full of dead presidents, as if he’s after every single Dollar to buy a bottle of sprite around the next corner. If we are going to keep talking about the genre cloud-rap, then it is only because A$AP Rocky is flying: over every single beat. No matter whether he’s the chasing moody bastard of Skrillex-EDM through a fun fair, whether he uses his perfumed voice to breathe a drumless beat (»Suddenly«) between its legs or whether he battles one of your favorite rappers in an old-school-battle – Rocky always comes across as superior. His beats are just as convincing as his diversified flow. Think of the mixtape’s beats, add some more mastering, a bit more glitter and a little Niggas-in-Paris-attitude – then you know exactly what the record sounds like. Of course, it sounds a bit like Swishahouse and Three 6 Mafia, not only audible through some chopped hooks. However, the album’s life still comes straight from Harlem. The kind of Harlem that once shaped the Dipset-boys. Rocky has created a lifestyle between gutters and catwalks, in which the choice of a gun is just as important as the choice of an evening dress. It seems we won’t have many chances of being entertained any better this year.