A$AP Mob Cozy Tapes Vol. 1: Friends

A$AP Mob Cozy Tapes Vol. 1: Friends
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Don't cry for A$AP Yams.
 
Although the young businessman and A$AP Mob founder passed away far too soon, his comrades lift up his memory with flair on Cozy Tapes Vol. 1: Friends. The album's artwork features an infant Yams with a gleeful grin on his cherubic face. Cozy Tapes may be a tribute album, but there is no time for tears.
 
Brimming with features, A$AP Mob and their titular "friends" live harder in the face of death, packing Cozy Tapes with the cocksure lyrics and wall-thumping beats fans of the collective have come to love. A$AP Rocky, Wiz Khalifa and Compton wordsmith Buddy channel Bone Thugs-N-Harmony on the celebratory "Way Hii," blending their unique styles seamlessly on the infectious chorus. BJ The Chicago Kid also lends his vocals to the standout track.
 
Texas producer Lil Awree provides a delicious update to a timeworn Willie Hutch sample on "Put That on My Set," a skilful collaboration between Rocky and grime royalty Skepta. A$AP Nast shines on "Nasty's World," where he joins forces with ONYX for a rugged and lively track that expertly revives the very best stylings of the '90s. Tyler, the Creator steals the spotlight on "Telephone Calls" and while songs like "Bachelor" and "London Town" aren't the strongest, they effectively maintain the album's energy.
 
Cozy Tapes skips any syrupy clichés and eschews morbid references to the afterlife, celebrating Yams' life rather than mourning his death. A$AP Mob stay true to the sound Yams helped to cultivate, and in doing so, keep his spirit very much alive. (ASAP Worldwide/Polo Grounds/RCA)