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Hip-Hop Review

A$AP Mob – Cozy Tapes Vol. 2: Too Cozy – ALBUM REVIEW

    In the second instalment of A$AP Mob’s “Cozy Tapes”, the mob is situated in a high school (Yamborghini High) with a few of their “classmate” friends including Lil Yachty, Gucci Mane, Schoolboy Q, Joey Bada$$, etc.

    A$AP Mob have been insanely busy and consistent in 2017, with back to back to releases from members of the mob including a debut from A$AP Twelvyy titled “12”, and A$AP Ferg’s latest follow-up to his 2016 release “Always Strive And Prosper”, “Still Striving”. Throughout this new album, there’s an unnamed principle talking through a PA in the several skits on this album, which gives the album a great sense of humour with lines referring to the “Takeoff left off Bad & Boujee” meme and other relevant topics. I enjoyed a good half of the first Cozy Tape, it was a bit monotonous at times however, and I felt like they could’ve done a lot more with it, but maybe the “cozy” theme cancels out the idea of pushing themselves further musically; there wasn’t anything too original on the first one.

After hearing the single “Feels So Good” which they premiered hastily on Jimmy Fallon, I could already tell that I was going to like this album a lot more. You can tell that younger, lesser known members of the mob (Ant, Twelvyy, Nast, Bari) are starting to come out of their shell a bit and become more stand-alone artists under the shadow of Rocky and Ferg. A$AP Rocky seems to keep pushing his lyrical capabilities, and the cadence and spitting factor for him are off the chain in this song. I’ve been getting a Wu-Tang mixed with Odd Future vibe from these guys lately, with the way they’ve treated this group effort. Here’s the Jimmy Fallon performance:


“It feels so good when it’s new”

 

The album kicks off with a skit of the mob talking the shit in a school bus (guessing on their way to Yamborghini High?), and goes into the first track “Perry Ave”. The sound you get on this track instrumentally is essentially the vibe you’re going to be hearing throughout the album; cozy vibes. There’s a ridiculous amount of features on the album by the way, and the first feature we’re introduced to is a low-pitch shifted Jaden Smith, which I think sounds really cool on this track, a very futuristic, unique sound to open up the album. Also love that line about drinking sake and eating calamari with A$AP Rocky; sounds cozy as hell. Next is the head bobbing, insanely catchy: “Please Shut Up“. This one features a fitting verse with Gucci Mane who fits perfectly on this instrumental. I love the little keyboard riff that gives this song a melancholic, playful vibe, as the mob insists that you “Please Shut Up (Hoe shut up!)”. It’s nothing too inventive, but I enjoyed the track.

Blowin’ Minds (Skateboard) is a come-up, or “on the grind” track where Chief Keef and the Mob talk about they’re gradual way to the top of the game. Love the instrumental, although the lyrics were a bit mediocre… I get the appeal though. Going through my first listen of this album, I really disliked the next track “Black Card” because of the super whiny, in your face auto tuned vocals provided by Smooky Margielaa, but after a few listens I started to love it for some reason, you just get a lot different feelings and vibes from this song than the rest of the album, and Rocky provides a killer verse at the end of it. “Walk on Water” includes an awful chorus provided by Playboi Carti, and although A$AP Ferg’s verse is indeed “FUEGO”, it’s just the same flow he always does, and to be honest, after “Still Striving” I’m getting pretty sick of his repetitious flow in every damn track…not as bad as Nav though, that’s for sure. (Thank god there’s no Nav feature on here).

Nearing the middle of the album we get to this song “BYF” (Be Your Friend), where the mob discuss how they just want to be their girls’ friends because they got other girls to mess around with, specifically other men’s girls… nothing new here haha… probably my least favourite track on the album. The next two tracks “Get To The Bag“, and “Bahamas” feature the entire mob along with a ton of features including Lil Yachty and Schoolboy Q on the banger “Bahamas”. Get To The bag is a more low-key, chill spit track featuring some solid bars from the gang, but the track that really stood out for me was Bahamas. I don’t mind a Lil Yachty feature every once in a while, as I was a big fan of his début mixtape “Lil Boat” (Teenage Emotions was trash though, as most can agree with), and he does a really good job at starting off this insanely eccentric banger track, in which all the artists state that they’ve never to Bahamas because it is a tourist vacation attraction, and they ain’t got time for that with all the grinding they’ve done in the rap game. Schoolboy lays a really fitting verse on this, and i found his voice fit perfectly on this production, great to hear from Q.

 

“Frat Rules” plays on the high school theme of the album, as Playboi Carti explains in the chorus that if the gang’s girls “not fucking” then they they’re not invited to their frat, kind of ridiculous but hilarious statement because of how obnoxious it is. Never been the biggest fan of Big Sean, but the way A$AP Rocky and Sean don go back and forth on this track is actually really cool and I enjoyed listening to the contrast in their voices and flows. ” FYBR (First Year Being Rich)” is a play on/follow-up on A$AP Twelvyy’s new track “LYBB (Resolution)”, in which they talk about the same themes of their resolution of staying at the success that they’re at, coming out of the financial struggle, and staying consistent in getting that money. Already discussed the single “Feels So Good“, but with context of the rest of the album I enjoy it even more, and I still think it features one of A$AP Rocky’s best verses yet, even though it’s such a small part of the song.

 

Coziest” is a song with only A$AP Twelvyy and Zach (who??), which is a song that leaves a lot to desire given the title of the song, I was expecting a much more “cozy” beat, but instead you get these annoying ad-libs from this Zach guy, Twelvyy managed to make the track listenable though, so it wasn’t entirely awful. Loved the next track “What Happens” which has this sporadic, speaker busting beat that reminds me a little of the song “Machine Gun” by Portishead. In my opinion, this song features some of the best verses from the mob, a catchy chorus, and a fire verse from Joey Bada$$, the features on this album fit so well with the rest of the mob, and no one on the album really seems to be out of place with the coziness they were going for. I’ve listened to and loved the track “RAF” ever since it came out, and it sounds just as good at the end of the album, I would love to hear a Frank Ocean rap-only album because of how great he sounds rapping on this track, but that will probably never happen.

 

I really enjoyed this record, and I think A$AP Mob accomplished exactly what they wanted on this album, I also think the album art works well for the group and gives off a 90s, NWA/Wu-Tang type of style. I think the A$AP mob have a good chance at standing the test of time and becoming legends just like rap groups such as NWA, and this is a great platform for the members to do their own thing like they’ve already been doing lately. What’d you guys think of the second installment of the Cozy Tapes? Feel free to write a brief review in the comments below 🙂

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