A$AP Mob released its new album, Cozy Tapes: Vol. 1 Friends, earlier this week, showcasing its inimitable, layered sound, sourced from a variety of musical styles and helped by numerous standout features from fellow artists.
This group of New York-based rappers is able to meld together a multitude of different sounds and create some really fun tracks. This is the first album that the group has released since the passing of member A$AP Yams, an event that helps explain the passion behind this album release.
When A$AP Yams passed away in 2015, the group became motivated to release something that he would be proud of. By keeping the parts of the album that he worked on, they were able to keep his influence on the music present. However, the album as a whole is generally upbeat and energetic. This shows that the Mob wanted to honor him through celebrating his personality. Produced by all members of the A$AP Mob, the album is able to develop a diverse sound that allows for everyone on the album to show off at different points.
For Cozy Tapes, the A$AP Mob also brought in several featured artists to elevate the talent on the track and to further intensify their songs. By featuring people like Lil Uzi Vert and Lil Yachty, A$AP Mob is able to develop its sound into the recently popular trap-rap genre. This sound is more current and is one that listeners want more of right now, so it made sense for A$AP Mob to let their music drift towards this.
However, some of the features on the album have very different sounds than others, which helps diversify the sound of the album as a whole. For example, featured artist Onyx has a very old-school rap sound. In “Nasty’s World,” it is clear that Onyx’s sound has influenced the song as a whole, as it is not like any of the others on the album. This makes it one of the more interesting tracks because it shows how well members of A$AP Mob are able to change and use their talents in other styles of rap as well as in their own.
Of the different members of A$AP Mob, there are both stars and those who seem to produce more mediocre work. A$AP Rocky is definitely the most famous out of the bunch and is able to shine on his own with a lot of hit tracks. For me, it is difficult to pair A$AP Rocky with the lesser-known members of the Mob just because it can sometimes seem like they get lost behind his voice. Furthermore, when A$AP Mob chose to have so many features on the album it seemed like these members would definitely be overshadowed. However, this was not the case at all on this album. By giving members like A$AP Ant or A$AP Nast their own tracks with a feature artist, you see them preserving the sound of A$AP while also bringing in these other artists. I found that this part of the album showed off the talent of the lesser-known artists.
Overall, Cozy Vibes: Vol. 1 Friends gave fans all that they could’ve asked for. The vibe of the album was upbeat, but the group was able to develop some songs that were more relaxed. For example, songs like “London Town” and “Telephone Calls” displayed A$AP Mob’s stylistic diversity.Furthermore, the features on the album really lent their own styles without changing the underlying feeling of the Mob’s music. I hope to hear more music like this from A$AP Mob.