A$AP Twelvyy, member of the rap collaboration A$AP Mob, released his first solo album 12. He was previously featured on A$AP Mob’s 2012 debut mixtape, Lords Never Worry, as well as releasing his own single, “Xscape”, the second single to the A$AP Mob’s debut album L.O.R.D.. The album is a manifestation of ASAP Twelvyy stepping out of the shadow of some of the more prominent figures of ASAP Mob.
12 features fourteen tracks, the Mob’s influence being present throughout the LP. Both A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg make appearances, as well as A$AP Ant and A$AP Nast. Appearances by artists outside the crew include Joey Bada$$, Flatbush Zombies and Onyx’s Fredro Starr.
Growing up in Harlem, many of the tracks on 12 reflect Twelvyy’s life growing up in New York City. He brings to life a New York feeling and sound that is reflected in all fourteen tracks. The songs speak to the everyday struggle of coming up in the city and the grind to make it.
Beginning with the track “Castle Hell,” Twelvyy raps about trying to survive in the face of gang violence and people out to get him. He refers to NYC as the “castle hell / city by the sea / the devil’s favorite.” He speaks of struggling with letting go of his gangster past even in the face of becoming a successful rapper.
“Uncle Mikey Skit” is a one minute spoken monologue leading into the track “Hop Out.” In it, Twelvyy tells the story of meeting the Mob in Harlem, the old tapes they played to inspire them, and the energy they felt from the universe as they began to create and shape their own artistry. He says,
“Whole mob was in there, everything was nice, everything was settled, everything was blessed, everything was nice. All that psychedelic, all the physical shit. You know all the beloved’s was up there, chillin’, spreading their positivity, you know all the physics. Like that energy was rollin’, it was comin’ back together like the city was back. Like New York City was back where it’s supposed to be.”
“Hop Out” was released as a single and features fellow Mob member A$AP Ferg. The track and music video were released one day before the album dropped. “Hop Out” is all about living it up as a rapper, making money and living the opulent life. With lines like, “You see my diamonds shinin’ / then you know it’s Cardi” Twelvyy and Ferg flex their success.
In an interview with Complex, Twelvyy stated,
“I love evolution, but I’ve seen with Rocky first coming out, or or Ferg, [people say,] ‘Yo, these cats don’t sound like New York.’ My whole mission was to be like, ‘Alright, you could say that these two don’t sound like the city—but yo, he sound like the city.’ That was one thing that was in my head too: sounding where I’m from or helping our sound grow.”