Since bursting onto the scene in 2011, A$AP Rocky has stood out for his mix of Harlem, New York and Southern, trippy influenced rap. His collaborations and ability to crossover into pop has also endeared him. Not to be forgotten, his fashion sense has also made him a style icon. These qualities are what make him the defacto leader of the New York-bred A$AP Mob.
Following the death of one of the group’s founding members, A$AP Yams, in 2015, the Mob dedicated its first group album, Cozy Tapes Vol. 1: Friends, to the influential group leader. The tape had a few solid cuts, but its biggest hit was “Telephone Calls” (don’t let the Spotify streaming numbers of “Crazy Brazy” fool you), with Rocky, Tyler, the Creator going out of his mind, and Yung Gleesh stealing the show with a cold outro for the sole purposes of performing the Gleesh Walk. The album’s highest points came from the album’s “friends,” namely Tyler, Lil Uzi Vert, Skepta, and Juicy J.
Rocky’s Mob, notably A$AP Ferg and Twelvvy, would occasionally stand out, but they were mostly overshadowed by the other album’s features. Disappointingly, no member of the Mob outside of Rocky and Ferg found a way to catch the baton and show off their star power.
Two years later, Rocky and the Mob are back with Vol. 2: Too Cozy. It’s set in high school, for some reason. There are skits that place us in that high school setting: that one popular Instagrammer on the school bus who roasts everyone, the principal’s voice droning over the intercom about the Milly Rock being banned on campus. You know, regular high school stuff.
Cozy Tapes, Vol 2: Too Cozy was another opportunity for a third member of the Mob (one other than Rocky and Ferg) to stand out. But again, it was a swing and a miss.
Vol. 2 is littered with features including the cast of “RAF” (Quavo, Lil Uzi Vert, and Frank Ocean), Schoolboy Q, Gucci Mane, Big Sean, and Jaden Smith, just to name a few. But similar to Vol. 1, their presence steals the spotlight from the rest of the Mob.
The Mob, outside of A$AP Ferg and Rocky, sleeps through most of its verses over otherwise solid production. Ferg and Rocky have their moments on tracks like“Walk On Water,” “Frat Rules”— Big Sean and Rocky going back and forth is a highlight — and “Perry Aye,” which could’ve been better had Rocky not tailed off after eight bars.
The album might be satisfactory for casual listeners who just want to hear Rocky rap alongside solid features and the occasional good verse from the Mob. But Vol. 2 doesn’t entice listeners to do deep delves on the rest of the A$AP Mob, and in some cases, they could probably do without them.