We’ve quickly seen the rise of New York City’s A$AP Mob, a crew led by A$AP Rocky, who’s scored a few high profile guest driven hits with “Fuckin’ Problem” (feat. Drake, 2 Chainz, and Kendrick Lamar) and “Wild For The Night” (feat. Skrillex). With another nine members bearing the prefix A$AP before their rap moniker (A$AP Dom has since left the crew and resurfaced as Dominic Lord), one might think we have this generation’s Wu-Tang Clan on our hands. Whether or not each member can carve out their own identity, however, remains to be seen. Next out the gate, following Rocky’s lead is A$AP Ferg, who has already established a core base with late night hood smash, “Work”.
Make no mistake, Ferg’s product is ignorant, detrimental-to-society rap, however there’s a certain hypnotic groove to it that makes it listenable. We saw this on his breakthrough single, “Work” (remixed here alongside Rocky, French Montana, Schoolboy Q and Trinidad James), as well as it’s follow-up, “Shabba”. It doesn’t hit you until about the fourth listen – which is the point where you’re either truly under the spell of the music, or you’ve just heard it enough times that it’s become acceptable.
Ferg’s unique delivery is a style all his own, but there is clear influence here from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, who truthfully deliver an amazing performance next to him on “Lord”. He also respects the old school on “Fuck Out My Face”, which features B-Real and Onyx, the latter whom steals the show with a verse from the still, severely underrated Sticky Fingaz. Later, “Dump Dump” is the kind of thing you’ll be bouncing to and singing along to in the club on Friday night, but you’ll find toxic on a Tuesday afternoon when you’re picking your kid up from school. Ah, the morning after.
Unfortunately, if it doesn’t have that bounce, it can be a pretty grueling listening experience. “Hood Pope” and “Fergivicious” find him crooning out his flow – again the Bone influence – but it’s largely an incoherrent mess. Songs like “Murda Something” (feat. Waka Flocka) and “Cocaine Castle” don’t fare well either.
As a whole, Trap Lord is not a good album. Ferg’s got his own style and his own sound, one that you really have to be in the right mood (read: turnt up) to enjoy. While this album does have it’s moments, Ferg seems like the type of polarizing artist that will be loved by some, hated by others.
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