Asap Mob work well together—even if they sound anonymous next to rap’s most colorful MCs on Cozy Tapes Vol. 2 | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Asap Mob work well together—even if they sound anonymous next to rap’s most colorful MCs on Cozy Tapes Vol. 2

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Under the tutelage of the late, great hip-hop svengali Asap Yams, New York collective Asap Mob (whose members all have “Asap” in their stage names, though they prefer to use a dollar sign rather than an s) learned the benefits of blending the best regional rap sounds, including Memphis’s humid, syrupy aesthetic and Atlanta’s psychedelic flamboyance. With Asap Rocky in the lead, the group have ascended to the national stage over the last several years, and it seems they, like every other popular rap act around, want to help in the kitchen and toss in some of their own sauce. The downside of this is that the guest artists who appear on August’s Cozy Tapes Vol. 2: Too Cozy (RCA/Polo Grounds/Asap Worldwide) largely render the members of Asap Mob anonymous. Granted, Playboi Carti’s slurpy jubilance on the hook for “Walk on Water,” Chief Keef’s Auto-Tune warble on “Blowin’ Minds (Skateboard),” or Frank Ocean’s otherworldly voice rupturing the fabric of “RAF” would be difficult for any MC to follow. Even Lil Yachty—who’s better at being a brand than he is at being a rapper—makes more of an imprint on “Bahamas” than most of the Asap Mob members do on the entirety of the album. Still, the group manage to keep the ship intact. At their best, these MCs dole out flows that can come close to standing out against an impressive bill of collaborators. At their worst, they’re just a hair above Big Sean, who always seems to be in the right place at the right time (like, well, this full-length).   v

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