In 2015, A$AP Mob forcefully swept through hip-hop with their flurry of bangers on Cozy Tapes Vol. 1. Their rugged debut provided a mixture of slick bravado and hard-nosed lyricism. Despite A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg already being established MCs with their solo offerings, the voracity of A$AP Twelvyy, A$AP Ant & A$AP Nast bolstered the group’s formidability, placing them on alongside hip-hop’s elite.
On Friday (Aug. 25), A$AP Mob returned with their sequel Cozy Tapes Vol. 2: Too Cozy, which features a plethora of big-name artists including ScHoolboy Q, Big Sean, Gucci Mane, Frank Ocean, Lil Yachty and more. “We’ve been cozy. We’re ready for the world to feel that feeling projected onto them. Hopefully, we get a connection instead of a disconnection, you feel me? That’s what we’re trying to do, keep sh-t real cozy around this b—h,” Rocky tells Billboard in an exclusive interview at their album listening party on Thursday night (Aug. 25).
“I’m just happy that we finally got back in the studio with our brothers and just have fun,” says A$AP Ferg. “You can really hear it through the music. We got so much dope people on there. It was a surprise for me, but last minute we got Hector — who’s our engineer and producer put a lot of last minute touches on there. [Adding] new artists. ScHoolboy Q is on a joint that I was on that I didn’t even know. So there’s a lot of surprises for everybody. It’s dope.”
Aside from music, A$AP Mob have dived into a sea of collaborations, especially on the fashion end. Recently, Ferg partnered up with the socially-conscious label UNIFORM for his Traplord collection, while A$AP Rocky linked up with GUESS for their summer collection. Because of their penchant for reinventing the wheel in terms of music and fashion, A$AP Ant believes their resume easily makes them a top five all-time hip-hop group.
“It’s just the impact that we gave,” says A$AP Ant regarding their all-time status in hip-hop. “We brought back crews, you feel me? With Tyler, the Creator and what they did with Odd Future, like we were one of the crews that brought it back to Wu-Tang, Roc-A-Fella Records, Ruff Ryders, EPMD when they had Redman and them. Keith Murray. So hell yeah. Everybody takes swags, you know what I’m saying? We gave the culture to people. We provided the wave to the new generation.
A$AP Ferg echoes his cohort’s sentiments. “We do everything on the team. You have designers, you have models, everything. We’ve showed them how to do it, like for our generation.” Since the new wave of groups in hip-hop falls pale in comparison to the 2000s when G-Unit, Dipset and Wu-Tang dominated the scene, A$AP Rocky believes that’s the reason why A$AP Mob is the best rap collective New York has ever seen.
“You can’t be mad at us thinking we’re the best,” says Rocky when asked if A$AP Mob is the best group to ever come out of New York. “We look up to Wu-Tang, Dipset, G-Unit, Roc-A-Fella, all them n—-as before us, but we’re the best, bro.” Adds Ferg: “If we didn’t think we were the best, then Wu-Tang didn’t do their job. We’re supposed to learn off them.”