A$ap Ty Beats – TYBeats Keep Smoking
Full disclosure: I was browsing DatPiff’s new tapes and saw this. The A$AP name was my only reason for downloading. After liking a lot of Rocky’s album and some of Ferg’s, I figured I’d see what the rest of the crew was about. Unfortunately, the description on that site and asapmob.com give next to no information about this mixtape, and I can’t be bothered to do more research than that.
TYBeats Keep Smoking serves as an introduction or “best of” for the producer, collecting 20 songs that he produced for his crew* and a some other rappers and singers. The first half is mostly A$AP songs, and is the better of the two halves by a landslide. His spacey and hazy beats just sound best with his A$AP brethren on them, and the other rappers he’s worked with leave a lot to be desired. Feminist‘s airy beat is great, but Aaron Cohen’s basic rhymes and flow ruin the song. Other non-A$AP songs aren’t as bad as that one but overall they’re pretty boring.
So the A$AP half is the one that matters. It has three good songs from A$AP Rocky’s Live.LoveA$AP mixtape: Pesos and Purple Swag‘s original and remix versions. Especially on the Purple Swag remix, Rocky proved why he was a clever and versatile emcee that deserved much hype and attention. A$AP Ferg also showed charisma on the hooks for Bangin’ on Wax and Gotham City, exhibiting the mix of silliness and aggression that’s come to define his style. I wish the rhymes on these songs, provided by Ferg, A$AP Nast, and A$AP 12Vy, were better, but I’ll give them the benefit of the assumption that these are early songs and they’ve gotten better since then. Ferg certainly has, at times (we’ll get to that in my next post), and Nast more than proved himself on the mixtape’s standout track: Trillmatic featuring Method Man, which was initially released in early 2014. On a beat that trades the southern-inspired smoked-out feeling for a 90s New York b-boy style, Nast holds his own even with Method Man dropping one of the best verses I’ve heard from him in a long time.
Trillmatic alone makes this tape worth the download, if you don’t already have that song. Even those who do will likely find something new here that’s pleasing. But that same “pull songs from everywhere” construction hurts the mixtape’s consistency. The mixing of each song and the overall mixtape are much worse than most modern mixtapes, and each good song is balanced by one that’s equally terrible. Babies, for instance, battles Trillmatic’s quality and earns the crown for overall worst song of the mixtape, due to its obnoxiously blaring and simple beat and hook. So, far from a best of, TYBeats Keep Smoking at least has a few great songs in between all the filler.
*I found it weird that Ty Beats has no credits on Ferg’s album and mixtape, and his only credit on Rocky’s album was co-production. Looking at this tape and their recent music, it feels like they used his music early on and are getting their beats elsewhere or moving to a different sound now that they’re on major labels. Or am I just jumping to a conclusion?