Skepta on "Put That On My Set"
Skepta first collaborated with the ASAP Mob on "Ladies Hit Squad," an ASAP Nast-assisted track that made for one of two North American-leaning records on his 2016 album Konnichiwa. While that collab didn't hold up quite as well against the pure grime surrounding it, Skepta sounds much more comfortable as a visitor in the ASAP universe rather than the other way around. A heavily-filtered horn sample brings things into cinematic New York story-telling territory, and Skepta brings some fittingly gritty bars for the occasion, digging deep and musing on his pain. Regardless of the shift in sonics, he's very much in his element.
Man, I'm ready to die
My soul's in the sky
See the pain in my eyes
I don't wanna cry, put my life on the line
For my blood all the time
I see all the signs, but it's like they blind
Tryna kill me for mine
Now this all behind, the police tryna find
The 5 Best Features On A$AP Mob's "Cozy Tapes Vol. 1"
Skepta on "Put That On My Set"
Lil Uzi Vert on "Runner"
Lil Uzi Vert's "yeh"-punctuated style is unmistakable at this point, and it's the driving force of "Runner." Handling both the hook and a verse, it's the one moment on the Cozy Tapes where a songs sounds like it's been taken over by an outsider. Thankfully, Uzi's style makes a lot of sense with the Mob's recent embrace of rap's SoundCloud generation. Much like the Mob-endorsed Playboi Carti, Uzi merges the dark nostalgia of ASAP with Atlanta's melodicism. Doubling down on one simple melody throughout, Uzi sticks his hook in your head just enough to have you craving its return after A$AP Ant's 16.
Yeah, smile with my grin, now it's sunny
Smile with my grin, now it's sunny
Ayy, nowadays I'm gettin' money
Eatin' my eggs with a runny
Ayy, nowadays I'm takin' xannys
That shit turned me to a junkie
Madeintyo on "Bachelor"
While both Offset and Lil Yachty hold their own on "Bachelor," their contributions come and go too fast to outshine Madeintyo. The Private Club rapper brings his uniquely high-register, subtly melodic flow to the bright instrumental, at one point letting his final syllables fade off into obscurity, finding subtle ways to experiment with his precise gallop-flow. It takes him just far enough out of his comfort zone of warm, ethereal beats, presenting a challenge he gladly accepts.
They don't want war they not tough enough
Shawty just told me I'm glowing up
I need that shit it not out, yeah
I wanna foreign my outfit
Thumbing and dabbing I run it up
Y'all niggas never there, never there
Wiz Khalifa on "Way Hii"
Listening to ASAP Rocky's very early material, it's easy to spot Wiz Khalifa's influence (or perhaps Max B filtered through Wiz), "Way Hii" feels like a full-circle maneuver. Wiz works his way into the Mob world by pulling out a Lord Infamous-inspired triplet flow, going back and forth with Rocky as the two find the perfect overlap in their stykes. He also brings some nice dynamics to his verse when he slips into a quick melodic interlude. Later on, he brings some peripherally dreamy backing vocals to the hook.
They don't want drama, they gon' get exposed
My new bitch don't model
We drink out the bottle
Be so high you probably think our eyes closed
Tyler, The Creator on "Telephone Calls"
Ever since "What The Fuck Right Now," Tyler, The Creator's inspired remix of Kanye West's "Freestyle 4" which feature A$AP Rocky on hypeman duty, we've been waiting on another collaboration between the two. "Telephone Calls" is that track, and while it's a far different setup, structured as a crew track rather than Tyler and Rocky's Public Enemy-like dynamic on "Right Now," they both shine bright on the record. Rocky sets Tyler up with a short interlude before his verse, and while the beat is slow and syrupy, Tyler brings the energy up, proving animated, aggressive raps that care little about technical conventions in favor of personality. He brags about the success of the Odd Future carnival, shouts out his buddies Taco and Jasper, and It ends up as the final proper verse on the project, and suggests he's passing his friends "opportunities" instead of blunts. While not coming from a Mob member, it illustrates the camaraderie that runs through the Cozy Tapes. Yams would be proud.
That boy flyer than a bag of bees
I got my flowers, life's a jeweler
Diamond, fingers size of a tumor
He's a genius, have you heard the rumors?
He's a winner, no not a loser
Fuck passin' blunts, pass my niggas opportunities
Goddamn, I'm hot, man, I'm not scared to freeze
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A$AP Mob's new tape is all about "Friends."
The subtitle of A$AP Mob's Cozy Tapes, Vol. 1 is Friends, and while the term could easily apply to the deep-running companionship of the group itself, the Mob have decided to include some collaborators from outside of the core group. The features include rappers who have influenced the mob's sound, as well as the freshest voices in rap, but everyone seems to find their place within the collage of rap history on the project, which is surely how A$AP Yams -- who laid the blueprints for the project before his untimely death -- surely would have wanted it.
We've decided to go through and pick out our five favorite guest appearances on the project, meaning official members of ASAP Mob were not considered. Click through to see our picks, and let us know who had your favorite moments in the comments below.