New York Harlem titans come through collectively with one of their best A$AP records to date. The mob pays tribute to A$AP Yams; who appears on the record cover as a mere infant.A key figurehead who recently passed away due to a drug-related overdose.A$AP Ferg, A$AP Nast, A$AP Twelvyy, A$AP Ant, and Skepta, are all stars of the show, as A$AP Rocky plays the ring-leader.
The record opens up with an over two-minute skit of the mobsters out to “out-cozy” each other. Coming through with the “Playboy boxers” and “Valentino shorts” the record starts off with the pre-released single ‘Yamborghini High’, a cozy welcoming tribute of Yams with featured guest Juicy J. The track revolves around A$AP Rocky as he leads the chorus and opening verse. A$AP Rocky is featured in all but three tracks. The Harlem native boasts through the hard hitting bass-driven synth leads and cruises through the track very explosively with deep-cut precision. The fan favorite is no stranger to relentless toxicity in a matter of minutes you get the gist of what is yet to come.
The production on this record is much more diverse than from previous A$AP projects. All the tricks up their sleeves produced by AWGE were incorporated into the mix. From high hitting hi-hats to constant melodic ad-libs, not a single nook and cranny was left out. The guests featured from Wiz Khalifa to Bj the Chicago Kid didn’t add much flavor to the tracks they were featured in however. The track ‘way hii’ was one of the low lights off the record, and seem to fade into the track list along with ‘Nasty’s World’, and ‘Put That on My Set’. ‘Young n***a living’ rides a familiar beat borrowed from Mac Miller’s production team. A$AP Ferg comes through the woodwork with his best feature off the record to complement. The track. ‘Money Man’ is one of my personal favorite tracks off the record, compiling all the grime and dark deep bass that makes this track stand out to me. “I’ma ride, I’ma ride”, A$AP Rocky leads the parade through the dark isles of Harlem life, “ride, or die” or “choose a side”. With the absence of leading producer A$AP Yams, the mixing wasn’t as clear and drugged as it was off ‘Long.Live.A$AP’, and ‘Trillmatic’, iconic A$AP mixtapes.
The best cuts were without a doubt on the last fourth of the track list. After a foreign motivational skit, the cast aimlessly target their attention towards a deeper materialistic outlet, London. The concept of foreign expenditures is no stranger to a lavish esquire. Soundcloud behemoth Playboi Carti spits in a lean induced debuccalization of sexual intercourse and riches. Production and mixing is at an all time high on ‘Runner’, a key track showcasing the mob’s best deliveries. Philly frontrunner Lil Uzi Vert has one of his best deliveries I’ve ever heard from him featured on as a guest performer. “I just be stacking my money, I just be stacking my money”, throws a clear overcast of a bachelor life. The second to last track ‘Bachelor’ ravishes a terrible Lil Yacthy guest verse who quickly gets escorted out the door by MadeinTYO. With an insignificant support of offset, this track is short to the punch. The ‘banger’ is left for last as all momentum is slowly losing its pace. The mob truly delivers on what could arguably be the best cut off the record, definitely the best beat, and mixing. “Ring, ring, ring”, A$AP Rocky deliberately clenches his best flow on the record. However, I can’t say the same for Tyler the Creator’s guest performance, as he steps down to the mob’s griminess in the most choppy flow he could’ve possibly delivered. Tyler’s verse sounded like he wrote it minutes prior to recording, with lyrics like “I’m a business man, you ain’t never been the man,” like seriously Tyler, what were you trying to go for?
A$AP Mob’s most cohesive record to date, missing key shots on poor guest performances and questionable production tricks. Lyricism is at an all-time high in A$AP’s standards, so don’t expect a philosophic lyrical awakening anytime soon. The mob has made it far from their dark cresses of Harlem, New York and executed a record that the dearly-beloved Steven Rodriguez would be proud of. A tribute to the glue that held the cast together, a proper love note written on hemp paper and dosed in codeine. The way Yams would of wanted.