A$AP Twelvyy Impresses Mightily On Long-Awaited Debut, 12
People have been longing the return of the glory days of New York rap. Over the last decade, the genre has weakened in its birthplace and strengthened in other regions in the country. Those particular glory days will never return based on the fact that time doesn’t repeat itself. Despite that, there have been glimpses of new shining lights in the New York hip-hop scene. Relative newcomers like Dave East, Don Q, Casanova, Westside Gunn, and Conway The Machine are summoning the reemergence of New York rap by actually rapping on beats that bring out the essence that only New York City can muster.
A problem of with a lot of popular rappers from the big city is that they don’t carry that New York sound with them. Another problem is that talented rappers like Bobby Shmurda are in solitary confinement, and Young M.A. And Desiigner losing spotlight. That’s where A$AP Twelvyy comes in. A rapper that’s been willingly staying in the background of A$AP Mob, for a long time barely letting himself be heard. Other than a single and a few features, there was little content from the Harlem rapper. Nobody could really determine the level of talent or sound the emcee could go for. Luckily, Twelvyy gave us a flavorful and exciting album that doesn’t get lost in traditional east coast production. Somehow, he made it sound new. Most of the production is sure to return some memories. Before this era of trap 808s and melodic rhyming patterns, it was only a rapper and his words. This simplistic approach on these instrumentals by Asap Twelvyy is to be well appreciated. On 12, He tells stories of his life gritty life before he had his taste of prosperity. There is evidence on how his city developed his character and perception of the real world.
The menacing “Castle Hell” is where Twelvyy, reintroduces where he is from and the life he had to live a drug dealer, with a Glock always by his side. This world doesn’t exist for any of the A$AP Mob members anymore, but since this is Twelvyy’s debut, it is only fitting that he would discuss life before the fame and accomplishments. He has very distinctive, strong Bronx accent that slices through instrumentals like switch blades. “Strapped” features vocal and instrumentation samples from Sampha’s “Beneath The Tree.” It’s a beautiful balance of heavy drums and melodic undertones. There is more talk of selling drugs, but Twelvyy switches it up. This is a song about determination in the face of desperation. It’s about overcoming the odds of the evil streets and leaving his fallen and imprisoned brothers behind.
Debuts are always the most gratifying projects because we hear everything the artist wants to say. He lives vicariously for his fallen friends on “Yea Yea Yea.” The “legends never die” euphemism is displayed here. This may be an ode to deceased A$AP Mob founder, A$AP Yams, he hints this on the last verse. “Legacies forever, legends everlasting, we gon’ live forever.” “Sunset Park” reinforces what ASAP really means. Members A$AP Bari and Ian Connor have encountered trouble with rape allegations throughout the last year and this track clearly indicates what the powerful message group initially intended to represent. Despite the unexpected death of their founder, A$AP has yet to completely collapse.
Twelvyy’s slick voice and magnetic storytelling do wonders for him on this project. The 28 year old,Harlem rapper gave us a good look at his life story in a little less than 40 minutes. This will continue A$AP Mob’s reign as they try to be remembered in time as one of the most talented groups to date. Now we wait for the debuts of A$AP Nast and A$AP Ant.
You can stream 12 now on Apple Music.