A$AP Mob

Cozy Tapes, Vol. 2: Too Cozy

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A year after the release of the crew's debut, Harlem rap collective A$AP Mob issued Cozy Tapes Vol. 2: Too Cozy. Packed to the brim with high-profile guests, Too Cozy highlights each emcee's bars without too much production distraction, which remains mostly midtempo and trap-heavy. There's a lot to digest here, with bars-on-bars of dense rhymes that turn Too Cozy into an almost endless series of cyphers. The Mob bring their respective personalities to each track, with A$AP Rocky taking the most verses (he's on 11 of 17 cuts). The squad's leader, he remains the most skilled of the bunch, delivering with a speed and dexterity unrivaled by his crewmates. A$APs Ferg, Twelvyy, and Ant stand out when they get the spotlight, while Nast and TyY get less time to show off their skills. Of the posse cuts, "Walk on Water," "Get the Bag," and "Feels So Good" are thrilling, with loads to unpack as the Mob members unfurl line after line of boasts and brags. While guest verses by Quavo, Schoolboy Q, Chief Keef, Gucci Mane, and even Jaden Smith add marquee heft to the collection, they sound more like part of the Mob and don't add much. The ones that do stand out end up looming tall above the pack. A couple rappers make multiple appearances: Playboi Carti delivers catchy hooks all over Too Cozy, while Rocky protégé Smooky MarGielaa steals the show on every track on which he's featured, a breakout star turn for the teenage New Yorker. Lil Yachty elevates "Bahamas," adding his buoyant energy to the popping track produced by Slade da Monsta, while Big Sean swaps lines with Rocky on the dizzying back-and-forth "Frat Rules." Superstar cut "RAF" benefits from appearances by Lil Uzi Vert and an extended contribution by Frank Ocean, who provides the de facto musical closer to Too Cozy. However, if there's one track that makes Too Cozy worth the price of admission, it's "What Happens," a monster effort that unites members of A$AP Mob, Pro Era, and Flatbush Zombies in an all-star, cross-borough New York cut featuring stuttering spook-show production by none other than venerable elder statesman, RZA. With over 20 verses, it's a gift to fans. Although Too Cozy sometimes feels like a mixtape -- with the sheer amount of voices that casually pop up on its 17 tracks -- the cohesive vibe and swaggering passion make it a fun listen for fans of any of the two-dozen artists showing off their skills.

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