A$AP Rocky’s newest album “Testing” was his chance to solidify himself as one of the leading MC’s of his generation.
“Testing” shines in its production which is crisp and diverse throughout the 15 song album. The opening track, “Distorted Records,” is explosively raw and fast paced, best described by its line “Big bass make the world shake / Flacko out here causin’ earthquakes.”
The next song, “A$AP Forever” takes on an atmospheric vibe that is much more mellow than its predecessor but keeps the listener captivated with the classic Rocky flow and booming drums. We also get a Kid Cudi feature which is more nostalgic than groundbreaking as it revives thoughts of Cudi from “Man on the Moon” but pulls away from the epic vibe Rocky creates on the song.
The rest of the album features only a few more bangers with “Praise the Lord (Da Shine),” “OG Beeper,” “Fukk Sleep,” ”Gunz N Butter,” and “Buck Shots.”
The other songs are slow and melodic that Rocky has rarely excelled on in the past. Unfortunately this remains true for this album as well. The production is still masterfully done and Rocky has chosen great beats and producers to work with but it does not mesh with his style well.
You have to give props to Rocky for always trying to push his limits and encompass new styles in his music. However, this style change comes only in sound and not in substance. With an extensive list of features including Frank Ocean, T.I., Kid Cudi, Skepta, Kodak Black, Juicy J, French Montana, and Moby there were many opportunities for the listener to be pulled away from the lack of depth but many of the features are lackluster.
Overall the album has several impressive songs that will be a staple to many hip-hop playlists but the album could have been improved by removing some of the slower melodic songs that Rocky has not mastered stylistically.