Taking a page from the Rick Ross book of crew-based promotion, A$AP Mob (of which breakout star A$AP Rocky forms the integral portion) has released Lord$ Never Worry in well-timed anticipation of Rocky’s studio debut, which is due for release next month.
While neither as furiously energetic nor as a stylistically pitch-perfect as A$AP Rocky’s LiveLoveA$AP mixtape, Lord$ Never Worry nonetheless establishes A$AP Mob as one of finest rap crews currently in operation, possibly even stylish enough to challenge the New Media supremacy of LA-based madmen Odd Future.
How the seven-person crew pulls this off is a little hard to articulate, but it definitely hinges on the group’s unimpeachable instinct for what works, a quality most readily exemplified in Rocky, but shared to a large degree by A$APs Twelvyy, Ant, Ferg and Nast.
All of the aforementioned MCs manage to hit that sweet spot wherein they expend incredible amounts of energy without ever seeming like they’re trying. The tales of coke, bitches and currency acquisition in which A$AP Mob trades have the casual authenticity of truth, a quality nearly impossible to synthesize and invaluable when it comes to producing pop music.
A$AP Nast and A$AP Ferg secure the finest feature tracks with “Black Mane” and “Persian Wine,” respectively. The former allows Nast to illumine the finer points of his sexual talent, whereas the latter finds Ferg pledging allegiance to his crew in a trippingly delivered concatenation of lifestyle details.
Collaborative tracks “Coke and White Bitches: Chapter 2” and “Bath Salt” also provide ample evidence of the crew’s collective talent, though Rocky and Ant are upstaged on “Bath Salt” by a couple of furious verses from Flatbush ZOMBIES, who rap as if they were under doctor’s orders to not let their pulses fall below 90BPM.
As for production, Lord$ Never Worry offers a repetition of many of the musical themes previously established by Rocky and company. Screwed vocals groan throughout most of the mixtape’s tracks and the beats favor synthesizers over samples, lending the whole thing the feel of an immaculately executed bedroom production.
Though a plethora of producers contribute to Lord$’s musical constituent, the tape’s style is both established and capably reiterated by A$AP Ty Beats, the Mob’s resident producer.
As a “meet the band” release, Lord$ Never Worry functions with perfect adequacy. By tape’s end, the breadth of A$AP Mob’s talent, and the distinct grasp it has on its own style, have been solidly established.
With the exception of its absolute finest moments (“Bath Salt”, “Purple Kisses” and “Black Mane,” for the record) Lord$ feels like a stopgap measure, or an ad for something better yet to come. However, the mixtape makes it abundantly clear that you’d be ill-advised to ignore A$AP Mob’s upcoming solo releases, which I suppose means that it has done its work.