Once robbed in Salt Lake City, rapper Twelvyy promises A$AP Mob’s new show here will be ‘very therapeutic’

(Photo courtesy of Alexander Bortz) New York-based hip-hop collective A$AP Mob will be performing at The Complex in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. The group’s second album, “Cozy Tapes: Vol. 2,” was released in August. The show is sold out.

“I got love for Salt Lake City, but one time, I got robbed out there!” he told The Salt Lake Tribune in a telephone interview. “Not robbed physically, like at gunpoint, but they took my s— out the room. So I got love for y’all, but yo, they need to bring my s— back!

“I know it’s gonna be dope! I ain’t gonna come out there with the negatives. People lose stuff all the time. We ain’t really tripping no more about that,” he said. “I’m just happy we get to go back to Salt Lake, we get to show people how it’s done, how we get it, how we got it rockin’. That’s how we coming!”

So it’s no surprise that A$AP Mob shows are selling out all over the country. Still, given Utah’s … ahem … demographics, is he surprised that their concert at The Complex sold out?

“An A$AP Mob show is one of the best shows you ever gonna experience in your life. I’m not even gonna lie to you, man — it’s probably one of the most positive experiences,” he said. “You might meet your future wife, you might connect from a business standpoint. You gonna see some of the wildest cats onstage ever. You just gonna have fun. Just go, let loose, leave all your frustrations at home, come here for a show that’s very, very therapeutic!”

(Photo courtesy of Ellington Hammond) Bronx-Born rapper A$AP Twelvyy (born Jamel Phillips) released his debut solo album “12” in August. He will perform at The Complex in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017 as part of the hip-hop group A$AP Mob.

Finally getting his own album out has proved healing for Twelvvy. His solo debut was years in the making, despite him being one of A$AP Mob’s first members.

While he grew up loving rap, he was banned from listening to it for several years after going around the house belting out lewd lines from Queens ’90s underground sensation Akinyele. Once old enough to begin buying his own music, he embraced the world of hip-hop again, but appreciates how much catching up he has to do.

“I was just happy to be discovering music, and I was excited to be on this journey after being kicked out from music,” he said. “I needed that time to be away from music just to really understand it. Seriously, I haven’t heard mad s—, so I can go back to discover the freestyle fellowships. I listen to brand-new s— every day. I’m on it.”

Still, despite his love of the genre, he had never considered becoming a rapper — had never actually rapped, even — until he met Steven Rodriguez, aka A$AP Yams. Yams was the man who put the Mob together. He also proved to be one of Twelvyy’s best friends and mentors, encouraging him to let his voice be heard.

Once he did, he decided to keep his focus narrow, to keep the thematic elements of “12” solidly based on the 212 area code that represents his hometown.

“I wanted to cover my foundation and my upbringing … I was just trying to cover the things I first seen when I left Harlem High School. I’m seeing the streets, I’m seeing the buildings, the knowledge, also tapping into my natural roots and growing up on Lenox Ave., and growing up in the Bronx,” he said. “Seeing everything I seen, the trials and tribulations, just trying to pick it up there. It was hard, but it was beautiful that I could articulate it to music — everything from my love of New York to sports, and being a living, breathing epitome of a hustler, just grinding. And I wanted to show that. It’s my passion. So I’m just happy to be able to do it and get it off my chest, man. I didn’t go full-spectrum, but I got a couple particles of the spectrum.”

He also contributed to A$AP Mob’s “Cozy Tapes, Vol. 2,” which he describes as “super-relaxed, man, it’s super-dope. There’s a lot of fire on there. We’re premiering our new roster, our new members to the Mob universe. And we going crazy, man. We just trying to put our footprint down and put our footprint down strong.”

“Look at me — I’m 28 years young, I just dropped my first project, it’s kinda like, I’m setting things into movement for myself, and that’s not even the best, that’s not even nothing, that’s a lot of noise. I’m still learning,” Twelvyy said. “So that’s not even nothing compared to what we’re about to do. … We got it rockin’, we got it goin’, it’s time to turn it up!”

A$AP Mob (A$AP Rocky, A$AP Twelvyy, A$AP Nast, A$AP Ant)With Playboi Carti, Key!, Cozy BoysWhen • Wednesday, 7 p.m.Where • The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, Salt Lake CityTickets • Sold out

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