The year was 2012, I still felt the comfort of college life while the real world seemed too far away and ambiguous, Obama was still president and A$AP Mob released their first collective mixtape called Lord$ Never Worry. The tape included the entire mob; ASAP Nast, A$AP Ferg, A$AP Bari, ASAP Twelvyy, A$AP Ant, ASAP Nast and Da$H and of course A$AP Rocky. While the tape had a lot of dope features from artists like Danny Brown, Raekwon, Flatbush Zombies, Gunplay, Fat Trel, Jim Jones and Bodega Bamz, the tape was very much a spotlight on the mob itself. “Work” by A$AP Ferg is one of the biggest hits off the tape.
Now we’re in 2016 and this year has been, well, shitty to say the least. But yet another highlight of the year in music was A$AP Mob’s new mixtape “Cozy Tapes Vol.1: Friends,” a nod and memorial to their official cozy boy A$AP Yams (Rest in Peace). Rap Genius explained that, “Before his death, A$AP Yams was working on a project called the Cozy Tapes that would pool the talents of A$AP Mob.”
The amount of growth we see between “Lord$ Never Worry” and “Cozy Tapes Vol. 1” is immense. The entire mob has refined its sound and found its unique niche in hip-hop that no one can take from them. It has earned its right as tastemakers and pioneers for the youth both in music and fashion. Another huge part about “Cozy Tapes Vol. 1” that makes it so unique is the noteworthy features and hilarious you-would-only-get-it-if-you-were-from-NYC skits that break up the flatness of an average mixtape. I’m just praying Vol.1 means there is plenty coziness on the way. Ble$$ Up
Here are some of the most notable features from Cozy Tapes Vol.1, which you can stream here on Spotify.
1. Key! featured on “Crazy Brazy”
Key! an Atlanta rapper that is changing the sound of the ATL. He’s already worked with people like OG Maco, Father and iLoveMakonnen. He has a broad solo career thus far but it’s okay if you haven’t heard of this guy yet as he tends to enjoy flying under the radar and letting his work speak for itself. Check out his most recent mixtape here.
2. BJ The Chicago Kid & Buddy featured on “Way Hii”
BJ The Chicago Kid can be found singing the background vocals on this track alongside Compton rapper Buddy, who is signed to Pharrell’s label “I Am Other”. Buddy has been on the scene with co-signs from all over so it’s no surprise that the A$AP crew would pull him onto this track.
3. Onyx featured on “Nasty’s World”
Nasty’s World is one of my favorite tracks off this tape. With Onyx on the contagious chorus and Nasty’s spitting fire bars, Nasty’s World has that old school flavor every good mixtape needs. Onyx is is a hardcore hip hop group consisting of Sticky Fingaz, Fredro Starr and Sonsee. The guy singing on the chorus is Fredro Starr.
4. Skepta featured on “Put That On My Set”
This particular track was included within the video for “Money Man” which was released before the tape. Skepta was alongside Rocky in the streets of northeast London. Skepta is easily on my list of top 10 rappers. The London native is not a force to be reckoned with and his music speaks volumes about his street cred and life in the tough London streets. Here’s a great Vice Noisey Documentary about him. Earlier this year he released his album Konnichiwa and also has done songs with Dev Hynes and Drake just to name a few.
5. Playboi Carti featured on “London Town”
Recent signee to A$AP Mob, Playboi Carti aka Cash Carti, has easily captured hip-hop fans everywhere with his unique flow and style of rapping. He caught my ear on “No Pressure” with Rich the Kid and other favs of mine include “Geek on a Bitch” and “Heavy”. Carti kills his verse on London Town and the only downside is that he didn’t get more time on track.
6. Lil Uzi Vert featured on “Runner”
Lil Uzi has one of the most noticeable voices in hip-hop right now. He made the XXL Freshman Class along with Lil Yachty, also featured on this tape, and is easily becoming rap’s golden child with his following is huge and growing musical co-signs, features and tracks. His feature on Runner is so strong it almost feels like it’s his own track. Check out his most recent album, Lil Uzi Vert Vs. The World here.
7. Lil Yachty, MadeinTYO & Offset featured on “Bachelor”
This young rap power trio is perfect for a track that’s about fast women, cars, clothes and everything else the modern day ‘bachelor’ has to look forward to. Lil Yachty raised the bar on creativity for his 1Night Video that now has over 43 million views on YouTube. MadeinTYO created one of the most infectious anthems for 2016 about everyone’s favorite cab service, Uber Everywhere and Offset is part of Migos, our modern day hip-hop group that is as good together as there are in their solo careers. All 3 are unique in their own way on Bachelor and become the perfect addition to the ASAP collective.
8. Yung Gleesh & Tyler, The Creator featured on “Telephone Calls”
The story behind this song as told by ASAP Rocky in an interview with Rap Genius is probably better than the actual song itself, which is actual FLAMESSSS. Apparently Tyler, The Creator was hanging with the crew and heard the song and wanted to jump on the track before Rocky even finished his verse. He went off on his verse and it fit the song perfectly. As far as Yung Gleesh’s contribution on the track, he comes in on the end with “Doin it for Yams” and “Walk, Gleesh, walk” which is referring to his dance he used to do for Yams which he performs at the end of the video “Multiply” by ASAP Rocky.