On Monday (October 31), A$AP Mob released their brand new project, Cozy Tapes Vol.1: Friends. One of the standout selections from the 12-song release is the final track, "Telephone Calls," which we highlighted last week for its remarkable Tyler, The Creator guest contribution.
In a new interview with Genius in support of the tape, Mob leader A$AP Rocky was asked if Tyler heard him rap, “tell Tyler better step his flow up,” before he recorded his "Telephone Calls" verse.
"He heard 'Telephone call from young Carti, said it's lit'—he kept looping that. I didn't do my verse yet. When he did his verse, Glessh was like, 'I feel like that nigga talking about all of us bro,' I said, 'That's how you're supposed to do it.'"
Rocky's performance on "Telephone Calls" is really solid—it's exactly what you'd expect from the Harlem emcee—but Tyler's verse is beastly. Considering Tyler's verse was already recorded and in the can before he recorded his own verse, Rocky had the opportunity to write, record and re-record his verse infinite numbers of times to ensure he wasn't upstaged by his good friend and collaborator, but in the end, it didn't matter.
"He body bagged that shit, nigga! For me, that was the point of that song—to show niggas who Tyler is," said Rocky.
While emcees typically don't like to be outdone by a guest on their own record, it appears Rocky was so impressed with Tyler's contribution, he didn't mind finishing in second place. Hip-hop might be about competition, but when you drop the ego, the fans are the real winners.