Rapper A$AP Twelvyy finally steps out from the Bronx-based A$AP Mob after a decade or so of being in the background to release his first album under his own name – or at least, under Jamel Phillips’ stage name, appropriately enough using the area telephone code for Harlem but making it flow.
The result is as harsh and urban, dark and brooding, as you would expect. From ‘Diamonds’, the single which also features A$sap Rocky (other members of the A$AP Mob also help out on other tracks – Ferg, Ant and Nast), and which has incisive and insightful lyrics taking aim at the new generation of gangsta rappers.
This is not old-skool but it’s close enough for most lovers of real rap looking for something new. Flatbush Zombies also crop up of course following his work with them over the last few years and 2016’s tour,. Joey Bada$$ and Fredro Starr also help to maintain that New York approach. Sometimes, as on the surprisingly melodic ‘Strapped’, the approach can be pretty much classic hip hop, and there are a couple of street skits adding to the vibe. This is New York rap, proudly so, unmistakably so, and it is so good to hear it.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: A$AP TWELVYY – 12