Everything You Need to Know about A$AP Mob: Part 1

Music media unanimously assert that now is the time of individuals, not creative associations. In this sense, the ASAP Mob experience is particularly interesting. The track “Feels So Good” from became the embodiment of the band’s creative unity. On it, Rocky, Ferg, Ant, Twelvyy, and Nast demonstrate different reading styles, while maintaining the overall energy of the track. Nobody pulls the blanket over themselves and you don’t want to miss a single verse.

In general, the conversation about ASAP Mob should be started not with Rocky, but with Yams, because the gang owes its existence to this person. A lot has been said about who Stephen Rodriguez is and what he is known for. Only the lazy one does not know that Yams has been involved in the promotion and public relations of ASAP Mob. His contributions to the community have been mostly behind the scenes, but perhaps the most important. Yams spent a lot of time studying hip-hop, was a human encyclopedia in this sense and understood how the industry works to the smallest detail. He allowed Rocky’s music to come out just when the listener was ready for it. His calculation turned out to be correct, and Rakim’s tracks really made a splash.

A short, tattooed guy with a large birthmark on his cheek, ASAP Yams had tremendous talent as a music promoter and dedicated his short life to the development of hip-hop culture. His innovation consisted in the fact that he perceived music as a field for experimentation and did not believe that it should belong to any tradition, conform to the canons, and be determined by the place of its origin. This idea was and remains a key one for ASAP Mob. ASAP Yams passed away in January 2015 at only 26 years old. The band’s mixtape “Cozy Tapes Vol. 1: Friends ”, which features feats with Skepta, Playboi Carty, Tyler, The Creator, and others.

The latest ASAP Mob mixtape came out in August this year. It’s called Cozy Tapes Vol. 2: Too Cozy . And there is. The lyrics are a mix of traditional hip-hop bravado and high fashion references (in turn, traditional for ASAP Mob). The album consists of 17 tracks. It would seem that all members of the community should have a chance to shine, but at least half of the playing time of “Cozy Tapes Vol.2” is occupied by guest verses. This release never helped us learn anything about the young members of ASAP Mob. We also did not learn anything new about the frontmen, except for the novelties of their wardrobe. But this does not matter, because there are solo projects for these purposes. Much worse is the fact that many publications have written about the loss of the ASAP Mob family vibe. Due to the abundance of invited artists, there was a feeling that anyone could have a hand in creating a mixtape. Others criticized the gang for its lack of originality and compared it to Migos.

However, it cannot be denied that the production of Cozy Tapes Vol. 2 is on the next level. RZA from Wu-Tang Clan, Southside, and Hector Delgado worked on it (except for ASAP Mob members). They managed to create a single melodic picture of the album, which, however, does not make the tracks look alike.

It makes no sense to list all the invited artists, it is much easier to say who did not record the guest verse for “Cozy Tapes Vol.2”. If without irony, almost the entire beau monde of modern hip-hop was noted on the mixtape – Frank Ocean, Schoolboy Q, Gucci Mane, Lil Yachty, and many others. The most interesting, perhaps, can be called the collaboration with a 15-year-old rapper from the Bronx Smooky Margielaa. This guy grew up playing the balafon, the national percussion instrument of the West African countries. Two years ago, Smooky sold it and bought a microphone. Now ASAP Rocky is personally producing it. Rakim was attracted by Smooky’s unusual style, which can smoothly go from reading to singing within a single track. In addition to participating in Cozy Tapes, Smooky has already recorded a fit with Twelvyy, Ferg, and Marty Baller. Everything indicates that the young rapper has a great future. Well, in something, but in Rocky’s taste, you will not refuse.

Anastasia Fetter

Anastasia Fetter