A Harlem-based hip-hop collective with a Ramones-like naming scheme, A$AP Mob are known for their smoky beats, their throwback vibe, their preference for Gothic and Masonic symbolism when it comes to fashion, and their most successful member, A$AP Rocky. Formed around 2006 by A$AP Yams, A$AP Bari, and A$AP Illz, A$AP Mob soon recruited A$AP Rocky into the Mob, a collective not only of rappers but of producers, graphic designers, and fashion designers. Two years later, key member and rapper A$AP Ferg would join the group, but it was Rocky who came to the forefront first in 2011, with his Deep Purple mixtape and the single "Peso." With designer A$AP Dom on board, the Mob collaborated with the streetwear brand Blvck Scvle that same year, releasing the iconic VSVP hoodie and other bits of Rocky-affiliated wear that mixed dark imagery. Rocky's Live.Love.A$AP mixtape also arrived in 2011 and was one of the first Mob releases to feature A$AP Twelvyy; the collective's Lords Never Worry mixtape dropped in 2012. Rocky made his official debut in 2013 with Long.Live.A$AP, while Ferg's debut, Trap Lord, followed later in the year. Other members like A$AP Nast and A$AP Ant came on board as the group signed to the RCA imprint Polo Grounds. An A$AP Mob album titled L.O.R.D. was announced, delayed, and eventually scrapped by September of 2014.
In January 2015, the group announced that A$AP Yams had died at the age of 26. Rocky's second studio album, At.Long.Last.A$AP, was released later in the year, and was executive produced by Yams, Rocky, Juicy J, and Danger Mouse. The following year, Ferg released Always Strive and Prosper. A$AP Mob's long-awaited official debut album, Cozy Tapes, Vol. 1: Friends, appeared in October 2016. The album's cover art was a baby photo of Yams, and guest MCs on the album included Wiz Khalifa, Tyler, The Creator, and Skepta. Tapes peaked at number 13 on the Billboard 200 and debuted in the Top Five of the R&B/hip-hop chart. "Wrong," with Rocky and Ferg on the mike, was the first single from Vol. 2. It appeared in April of 2017, and was quickly followed by "Raf," which featured guests Playboi Carti, Quavo, Lil Uzi Vert, and Frank Ocean. ~ David Jeffries