Cozy Tapes, Vol. 1: Friends is a fun project that showcases the many voices of the A$AP Mob collective with additions of Tyler the Creator, Wiz Khalifa, Lil Yachty and others. Listeners are treated to a little bit of everything that the Mob has to offer: rugged flows, druggy beats, Mafioso style rhymes etc.
There are at least two to three tracks that every listener will leave this project saying that they enjoyed immensely. It’s also important to note that the Mob pays respects to the late founder of their group, A$AP Yams (who passed away in early 2015), by using his image as the face of their project.
The opener “Yamborghini High,” is a long posse cut of the core members of A$AP Mob where we get the chance to hear just about all of them on one track together—setting the tone for the rest of the project to move forward. While there’s nothing really special here, and I don’t consider it one of the better cuts on the album, it does show off a variety of different styles and flows.
“Crazy Brazy” is one of three tracks that I felt were definite highlights. While the beat on this track is a nice banger, what truly makes the song appealing is the clever use of the word crazy and its blood rhetoric version “brazy” throughout the hook and throughout the verses from both A$AP Rocky and A$AP Twelvvy.
“Nasty’s World,” with A$AP Nast and Onxy is easily the best track of the project. Lead by the classic New-York-production and a short sample of the famous line, “This is a man’s world,” from soul legend James Brown. Once the beat shifts, we get an aggressive hook from Onyx that is sure to catch first-time listeners off-guard. Nast himself is upbeat and hungry as he spits two of the best verses of his career.
“Telephone Calls” features A$AP Rocky, Playboi Carti, Yung Gleesh and former Odd Future leading man, Tyler the Creator. While Carti seems to show off his amateurish delivery, his flaws are quickly overshadowed by Rocky who delivers an off-kilter verse. In the end, its Tyler who leaves the lasting impression by bringing his A game on a long verse that touches on the current state of the artist career as of now while also letting the listener know of his fine work ethic off the mic.
At mid-point the project continues to keep the listener entertained on “Put That On My Set” by A$AP Rocky and British rapper Skepta. The track itself features a classic Dr. Dre sample that brings a Mafioso flavor to a banging beat that feels like it could be one of Rocky’s past solo projects.
While the album holds a steady pace early on, many of it flaws begin to stick out toward the end. While many of the other guests on tracks such as “London Town” and “Bachelor” don’t bring much to the tracks with their features, it’s A$AP Rocky who is left to carry the weight to make these songs somewhat enjoyable. “Runner”seems very underwhelming, as I was expecting some better effort from 2016 XXL Freshman Lil Uzi Vert, who seems to be on the come up. Instead, we are met with a couple of sloppy verses that otherwise speak to the novelty in Uzi’s flow and delivery.
For many listeners, Cozy Tapes, Vol. 1: Friends will be the first of many more enjoyable collaborative projects to come. With some of the efforts displayed throughout I am either anticipating or staying away from what’s next to come for each individual artist.