ASAP Mob may be one of New York’s premiere modern rap groups, but they’ve caught some flak in the past for their region-blending style that often takes as much inspiration from the chopped-and-screwed era of Houston’s heyday as from their hometown’s rugged roots. ASAP Ferg‘s latest collaboration with mob partner ASAP Rocky reverses some of that criticism by drawing on the grimy ’90s essence of DMX’s ominous oeuvre for the menacing new single, “Pups.”
Sampling from DMX’s Dame Grease-produced breakout hit “Get At Me Dog,” ASAPs Ferg and Rocky channel the dark energy of X’s clipped, bark-laden delivery to trade back-and-forth verses like prime Jadakiss and Styles P. It’s a welcome transformation for the normally laconic pair, whose verbal enthusiasm sometimes falls just short of the chaotic vibes of their biggest beats. There are also punchlines galore, which Ferg threatening to make it “get uglier than some Balenciagas” and Rocky following up with one of his most creatively constructed verses yet, boasting that he had the whole hood rocking Under Armor.
The Harlemites released their last album as a troupe in 2017, but that hasn’t stopped the Mob from flourishing individually ever since then. Ferg and Rocky have especially demonstrated some unique chemistry, last appearing together on the remix of Ferg’s 2016 hit, “New Level.” That chemistry is even more evident on “Pups,” which begs the question: Shouldn’t these two work together way more often? The answer is “yes.” Let’s hope they get the message.