The infamous A$AP Mob has returned yet again to gift those less fashionable with the second installment of the Cozy Tape series.
This hip-hop conglomerate is rowdy as ever as it looks to build on its¬†previous¬†effort by producing equally infectious and fun music. This is great because for a long time I thought the only ones worth listening to were Mob members Rocky and Ferg and that the gap between those two and the others would be too jarring to enjoy a full-length collaborative project.
Sadly, those fears were realized. Although the lesser-known members of the A$AP Mob managed to hide the talent gap almost seamlessly on Vol. 1, a small stretch of songs on Vol. 2 feels as though Rocky is the only one who knows he is actually recording.
Nevertheless, Ant, Nast and Twelvyy, with the help of some great guest features, keep the high-octane energy of the album rolling from beginning to end with only a few slight hiccups.
Appearing on 11 of the 14 actual songs, Rocky is the steady hand that guides the spaced-out ship throughout the album.¬† Despite having spent the past two years trying on the finest fabric instead of making his third solo record, his rapping ability has not diminished in the slightest.
I could even argue that he’s become more versatile as an artist. From effortlessly spewing verses laden with clever wordplay like on “Perry Aye” to crooning melodically on the hook of “Feels So Good,” Rocky finds a way to make every¬†song he appears on better. After listening to him show off his full arsenal on this album, I cannot help but think how criminal it is that we have not gotten a new solo Rocky LP.
While Rocky seemingly came prepared to put on a show from the beginning, the others seemed like they needed to use the first few songs to heat up. The¬†usual cohesiveness that group has just isn’t there on songs like “Perry Aye,” where Playboi Carti offers a super generic Carti verse and Nast flows disjointedly. Of course, these two are not the model rappers to begin with, but all they had to do was finish the race Rocky started. “Please Shut Up” and “Blowin’ Minds (Skateboard)” have a similar issue: I find my mind wandering for portions of the songs.
Despite¬†some lackluster verses from the guests and the Mob, their infectious energy is still there, helping carry me to the track “Walk on Water,” where everyone finally seems to be in sync. Horns blare in the background as Ant, Ferg, Nast and Twelvyy take turns flowing over the majestic beat. Carti uses his rather simplistic style¬†on the hook, letting him play to his strength.
From that track forward, the members of the A$AP Mob are at their best on every song and make the most of each verse and hook. Whether it’s rapping about taking some poor soul’s girlfriend on the R&B infused “BYF” or boasting their riches on “FYBR,”¬†the Mob members are in their element.
Outside that weak verse from Carti on “Perry Aye,” the guest features on the album mesh almost perfectly. On “What Happens,” my personal favorite track, Pro Era and Flatbush Zombies team up with the Mob and take turns reciting verses while keeping the recurring theme going. Frank Ocean switches into emcee mode on “RAF” and proceeded to deliver the best verse on the song. Although Lil Yachty and School Boy Q have conflicting styles, the two make equally great contributions to the chaotic song “Bahamas.”
One thing that has to be mentioned is the lack of any real substance. The album is essentially 17 songs filled with nothing but braggadocious raps from the A$AP Mob and company about how exceptionally cozy their ways of living are.
The lack of substance, however, is to be expected, as the album is really just one long party with a revolving door for an entrance. The Mob made this album with the goal of being highly entertaining, and since¬†it met that goal, I cannot be too critical of how shallow the subject matter was. However, the album’s surface level content could affect the longevity of the album.
“Cozy Tapes, Vol. 2: Too Cozy‚ÄĚ is a good album that falls short of its predecessor but boasts the same fiery spirit. The album overcomes its lyrical lows by being outright entertaining. The chemistry between the A$AP Mob and the slew of guest features is unmatched as their verses and hooks seamlessly intermingle. The Mob is cozy in its¬†ways and does not seem to be changing anytime soon.