Recommend if you like: modern hip hop in general; the mix of Southern and New York influences + the long list of features mean there’s something to like for pretty much anyone who enjoys rap.

Expectation: A$AP Mob is a Harlem-based hip hop collective, best known for the solo work of two of their members, A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg. Cozy Tapes Vol. 1 marks the groups first collaborative effort since 2012’s Lords Never Worry, which was released prior to Rocky or Ferg releasing their debut albums (although Rocky was already fairly well known for his Live.Love.ASAP mixtape). They are joined on the tape by fellow A$AP members A$AP Twelvyy, A$AP Nast, A$AP Bari, Playboi Carty, and A$AP Ant, as well as a variety of guest artists not affiliated with the collective.

NOTABLE TRACKS

  • Yamborghini High – The project’s lead single, featuring a stupidly catchy hook and a sad lack of a Juicy J verse. Ferg steals the show.
  • Crazy Brazy – Sounds like it was made specifically for people to dab to. Still pretty good though.
  • Young Nigga Living – Ferg steals the show again.
  • Nasty’s World – Arguably the only track on the album without a big name tied to it, but also one of the best songs on the project. Definitely interested in what Nast does next.
  • Put That On My Set – While “Brothers Gonna Work It Out” will forever be associated with Chance’s “Lost” to me, its not like he was the first (or second, or third) artist to sample it, and this is a pretty beat. Skepta and Rocky show solid chemistry.
  • Bachelor – One of the better hooks on the tape, and MadeinTYO delivers an interesting verse (which somewhat appropriately reminds me of my favorite Chinese hip hop song).
  • Telephone Calls – Tyler, the Creator does an impression of Kendrick Lamar on “Vice City” and its awesome.

Overall: On the spectrum of Odd Future Tape Vol. 2 to Wu-Tang Forever, this project is much closer to the former, as its fairly obvious which members are already at the next level. While I didn’t mention Rocky much up to this point, he is very obviously the backbone of this project, appearing on 8/11 songs and frequently contributing one or more verses and a hook. Rocky’s smooth flow and consistently solid verses are a huge reason the album works. Nast and Ferg are less involved than I would have liked, but their few appearances are highlights of the project. Ant, Twelvyy, and Playboi Carti do okay, but I can’t say I have any higher expectations of them at this point than one would have had of Domo Genesis or Mike G in 2012.

Score: 6.5/10

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