Rising to fame after the successful release of their legendary mixtape Lords Never Worry in 2012, the A$AP Mob has continued to represent their roots in their chart-topping album Cozy Tapes, Vol. 1: Friends. In honor of the late co-founder of the A$AP Mob, A$AP Yams, the Harlem rappers come together to revere their friend and essential part of the group. A collaboration with new and old friends, the A$AP MOB proves once again to be a rap group not to mess with.
Founded in 2006 in Harlem, the A$AP Mob arguably changed how rappers introduce and produce their mixtapes. The production similar to an album rather than a mixtape, Lords Never Worry, sprung the Mob’s VIP rappers A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg into immediate fame. Following the success of the mixtape, A$AP Rocky has made a name for himself in the rap game with the release of his debut album Long. Live. A$AP and A$AP Ferg also releasing Trap Lord, cementing the Mob as a rap group that cannot compare. Despite the fame that has found them, the A$AP Mob was able to come together and produce music that sounds (thankfully) similar to their earlier work. A fun, gritty album with spitfire verses and beats produced by the greatests producers in the industry, Cozy Tapes, Vol. 1:Friends will be your go-to album to listen to this winter.
Starting the album in a more humble background, we find A$AP Rocky chatting with a local bodega owner. This proves how A$AP Rocky has not disregarded his modest roots but has shaped it to his music and persona. The first track on the album, “Yamborghini High,” is in honor of the late A$AP Mob founder, A$AP Yams who tragically passed away January 2015 at the age 26. Hitmaker Juicy J joins the crew, adding his talents to the track and perfectly including his skills with A$AP Rocky’s smooth bars. Keeping A$AP Yams dream alive with the album, the group talks about reaching “Yamborghini High.”
“Crazy Brazy” is a more fast-paced song with A$AP Twelvyy and Key! joining with A$AP Rocky. The single was released on the MTV LABS launch on Sept. 30, 2016. A$AP Rocky was quoted discussing the upcoming album, stating,“This is the Yams album we’ve been working on. We finally finished it. The Cozy Tapes album is called Friends Minus. It just features all of our friends and hip-hop associates and what-not, and people that Yams would have wanted. It’s an introduction to the new cozy wave. It’s really rap-punk meets alternative-underground.”
The third track on the album, “Way Hii,” features Wiz Khalifa, who partners up with A$AP Rocky and the crooner BJ The Chicago Kid adds his amazing vocals to the track to give it a dreamlike quality. A$AP Rocky and Wiz Khalifa collaborate together as an unbeatable duo as they rap about drugs and getting high.
“Young N***a Living” is produced by Canadian producer DJ Smokey, whose beats are tough and addicting. A$AP Twelvy features on the track, spitting dope and catchy verses. A$AP Ferg mourns his recently deceased grandmother and his memorable verses including him expressing his frustration with police brutality, the oppression of African Americans, and how the harshness of the world drives him to drink. “Nasty’s World” features A$AP Nast taking the mic and freestyling with his smooth rapping skills along with hard beats. All about the money, the A$AP Mob dedicates the track “Money Man” to money and the luxuries it can and has provided for them. A$AP Rocky talks about getting money and being loyal to his squad despite it. Proving once again why he is the most successful rapper in the group, A$AP Rocky’s charisma and witty lyrics truly standout.
My personal favorite track, “Put That On My Set,” is featured in a 12-minute video along with “Money Man.” Produced by Lil Awree, A$AP Rocky presents a tough, gritty presence as he express his appreciation of women and money and a trace of violence of people owing him debts. Noting how the group has not only been popular in the United States but also internationally, the rap group expresses their happiness about their reaching music teaching overseas in “London Town.” The group also mentions how because they have been so successful, they have been able to purchase foreign luxuries like cars and designer clothes.
A banger with the high-in-demand rapper Lil Uzi, “Runner” is all about bragging about the cash flow and proves how far and wide the influence of A$AP Mob has spread. Able to connect with newer and older rappers from all across the United States and bring them together for their album is impressive. Relating this track to the luxuries achievable with their money, “Bachelor” features the up-and-coming rapper Lil Yachty and perfectly blends the various rappers and artists vibes and sounds well.
The last track on the album, “Telephone Calls,” the eccentrically dark rapper Tyler, the Creator joins the Mob. Successful since releasing his debut album “Goblin,” Tyler, the Creator has continued to remain relevant in not only music but fashion. Launching his own fashion brand called Golf Wang, the West Coast rapper joins along with A$AP Rocky, which hopefully means that there will be more future collaborations.
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