Photo by DYLAN LONG
A$AP Mob is arguably the biggest hip hop collective in the game right now. Their two first studio albums, Cozy Tapes Vols. 1 and 2, managed to blow expectations out of the water and do so in a seemingly effortless manner, all in a span of 10 months. Founded by A$AP Bari, A$AP Illz and the late A$AP Yams, the Harlem hip-hop supergroup now features household names such as A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg. However when it came to showtime, the massive amounts of hype surrounding the group’s visit to Philly unfortunately couldn’t quite save the night from unmet unrealistic expectations.
It was a lackluster night, for many reasons. Playboi Carti, who is not a member of A$AP Mob but was one of the most highly anticipated acts of the evening, did not show up. A$AP Mob were on stage during the Tuesday night show from 8:15 until about 9:30. Granted that’s a long set, but some factors to take into account include the group pushing onward after announcing they were being cut circa 9:15, with the show’s curfew being 10pm. In addition, the crowd size was disappointing, with much of the real estate on the lawn at The Mann’s Skyline Stage unoccupied. Still, while this put a damper on things from afar, those entrenched in the crowd looked to be having a blast.
A$AP Mob is known for its live-wire energy and enthralling stage presence, and last night at The Mann it was on full display. Many of the Mob members possess arsenals of smash hits from their respective solo careers, which allowed the team to get behind one another and hype each other up throughout the night. These A1 group dynamics were most prevalent on tracks like Ferg’s “Work,” “New Level” and “Shabba,” the latter featuring none other than Rocky. The collective also dropped a slew of tracks off the freshly released Cozy Tapes Vol. 2: Too Cozy. Many of the tracks played, such as “Blowin’ Minds (Skateboard),” “Walk On Water,” and “Raf,” all feature Playboi Carti in pretty major capacities. If Carti had been present, these tracks would’ve landed a little harder. However, the Mob took things into their own hands and definitively made up for Carti’s no-show, hyping the crowd up with an intensity that refused to waver. With expectations always skewing from reality to some degree, A$AP Mob remained unfazed and gave those in attendance a grade-A performance. — DYLAN LONG