ASAP Rocky- Fuckin Problem [Video Review]

Kill ‘em all dead bodies in the hallway/ Don’t get involved listen what the crystal ball say

Recently, Drake, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar, three of the hottest rappers in the game right now, teamed up with Rocky to make the song ‘Fuckin’ Problems,’ the second single off A$AP Rocky’s upcoming debut studio album LongLiveA$AP set to be released in January, 2013. The collaboration was announced months before the song became a reality, which generated an enormous amount of hype. While the song more than lives up to its expectations, the video falls short. The video features each rapper against a monochrome background with shots of beautiful trill dancers interspersed throughout.

Perhaps my expectations were too high given the incredibly dope videos put out by each artist in the past year. For example, A$AP’s explicit and artful ‘Goldie’ (directed by Rocky himself), Kendrick Lamar’s slightly-80’s ‘Swimming Pools,’ Drake’s cameo-filled ‘HYFR (Hell Ya Fucking Right)’, and 2 Chainz’s hilarious and just-trap-enough ‘Birthday Song’ were some of the most imaginative, dynamic and memorable rap videos of this year. This time, however, the four fell short. A$AP Rocky’s distinctive style and persona, combining the classic neighborhood thug with an avant-garde aesthetic that challenges the classic rap ideal, has introduced a new kind of thug to the rap game. 2 Chainz is essentially a parody of himself, enabling him to bring humor to every song he graces with a feature or hook. Kendrick Lamar has brought introspective rap to the mainstream again with the release of good city, m.A.A.d city. Drake has reached an entirely new level of superstardom in the past few years, putting him in an interesting position, and leaving most of us incredibly curious to see what direction he will take his next release. Combine all these elements into one video and all we get is a bunch of trill model-slash-dancers twerking in artsy lighting, and four superstar rappers doing their individual verses against a grey background.

However, there are a few saving graces for this video: Drake’s hilarious facial expressions during his verse, A$AP Rocky’s Amish-meets-Parisian-thug outfit, and the genuine interaction between Rocky and Kendrick Lamar just as Kendrick’s verse is ending. The song is fire; the visuals are not. I can’t wait to listen to future collaborations between any combinations of these artists. If you’re unfamiliar with A$AP Rocky’s previous work and visuals, check out our review of his widely successful mixtape LiveLoveA$AP.

-Julia Hannafin

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