When the A$AP Mob first broke out on the scene through front man A$AP Rocky‘s hit single “Purple Swag” in 2011. Many listeners were blown away by Rocky’s demeanor. The Harlem emcee blended New York taste with hints of chopped and screwed flair that was usually reserved for artist hailing from the Deep South. With his patented french braids and gold teeth, Rocky became an overnight sensation. However, many people around the industry wondered if the young lord was just mimicking southern rap culture as a way to enter the game.
Then, on Halloween 2011 the industry got its answer with the release of Rocky’s first mixtape Live Love A$AP . This project opened the eyes of many industry executives, which would later lead to the Mob signing with RCA Records. The group has always been unorthodox with members that included emcees A$AP Ferg, Nast , Twelvyy and Ant. An up incoming producer in Ty Beats and even a fashion icon in A$AP Bari. Though there was one member that brought it together for many years. That member was Steven Rodriguez, better know as the Mob’s spiritual guide A$AP Yams.
Rodriguez fueled many of the groups identity for a handful of years before his untimely death in January 2015. Since then fans of the A$AP Mob have been waiting to see how the remaining members would push through the industry now that such a key cog to their success was now lost.
Talk back, get back slapped with a back hand
Black man, black hand side
Anti everything since Yams died
In dodge van by NY
No who, what, where, why, when
-A$AP Rocky “Crazy Brazy“
Rocky and Ferg of course dropped their respective sophomore major label projects soon after his death, but you could tell that there was something missing in those two projects. In my personal opinion it was confidence in the singles that both artist put out. Compile this with the fact that’s the follow-up posse project to Lords Never Worry that was slated to be released in 2014 never made it to the fans even after the stellar single “Trillimatic” had a great support from the community . It seemed that the Mob had hit a wall. Instead it was just a restart, during the months after Yams death the group began hanging around a plethora of new artist.
Rocky went on tour with the Odd Future sergeant Tyler the Creator. Ferg and rising rock star Lil Uzi Vert began to form a strong relationship. Nast went London and entered the grim scene with support from multiple U.K. stars including Skepta and Young Lord. In other words, the group hailing from Harlem went back to basics. Records like “Telephone Calls” and “Way Hiiigh” display the new relationships that the members of the mob have been forming over the past two years. Mixing their style with what was happening in the world around them.
This is what makes the Cozy Tape Vol 1 so refreshing. It is a return to form for every member of the Mob and even a step forward for A$AP Ant who provides some standout moments which include the infectious track “Runner” and the spacey “Young N***A Living“.
There is of course going to be critics out there who believe there are way too many features. To those people, I believe that this project was a tribute to what A$AP Yams’ ideology meant to the industry. Just because you live in one area of the world doesn’t mean your music has to reflect that. If you haven’t heard the Mob’s latest effort, do yourself a favor and put it into your rotation. It will not disappoint.
Long Live A$AP Yams Nov, 18 1988- Jan, 18 2015
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