A$AP Ferg is Rough Around The Edges, But Captivating
A$AP Ferg⎪Trap Lord⎪Polo Grouds⎪⎪US Release Date: August 20, 2013
I like dark music, even though I wouldn’t label myself as a dark nor evil being. I say that to say that A$AP Ferg’s debut effort Trap Lord is incredibly dark from top to finish. Even so, it’s also very consistent and well done. The name A$AP will be more associated with A$AP Rocky of course, but don’t sleep on the real talk and unique musical personality that is A$AP Ferg. After all, he is “Fergivicious”!
“Let It Go” opens the effort with a mysterious bang: “Trap Lord season begins, now repent your sins…” The hook holds nothing back, with the ‘Fergenstein’ stating “I be down to let it go / the semi or the tech, spray it at him then reload…” Certainly not material to chat over coffee or with family, “Let It Go” definitely sets the tone. “Shabba” is a better cut, fueled by malicious production and sick rhymes. Ferg impresses lyrically, particularly clever moments like “I was broke last week but today be a new day / motherf*****s like cavities cause them n***as be too fake…”. His buddy A$AP Rocky guests, keeping right in step with Ferg: “Cause n***as be plotting these days / but the ‘Rari kinda fast though (probably with a bad ho) / she told me to pump my brakes…” Two tracks in, things are looking up.
“Lord” continues the excellence, bringing in Bone Thugs N Harmony on quite the hookless juggernaut. It is a bit lengthy over five-minutes, but the odd-ball, quick-paced ‘spiritual’ cut is quite captivating. Lyrically, it is rich, even if it seems more antithetical to say Christianity than supporting it (“Murderous poet, I create a bloody murder poem / so when they run up on me n***a be ready to show em…”). On “Hood Pope”, it seems far fetched the face of the Catholic church would have his “…chain hang low, read rubies and the gold…drinking Jesus juice, jeans hang low…”, but to each his own. To the Ferg’s credit, he does at least reference himself as both the ‘hood pope’ and the ‘trap lord’ as opposed to Jesus himself. To his credit, Ferg does ask for guidance: “Lord please what is my purpose / besides f**king these Persians / popping these bottles and popping these models…”
“Fergivicious” has some depth, most notably when Ferg references his late father (“…why he couldn’t see a n***a in Medusa lens / why he couldn’t see a n***a cop his first Benz / why he couldn’t see a n***a pop his first band…”) “4:02” may be more captivating, even if the topic is definitely rated X (a threesome). Odd, erotic, yet it’s intriguing… I feel like I need to repent. “Dump Dump” isn’t any less lascivious, serving as a segue of sorts from “4:02”. I wouldn’t say it’s intellectual, but it is, like everything else, very interesting. ‘Course, maybe there’s a few too many instances of the n-word, and of course ‘the nasty’.
“Work (Remix)” is superbly produced and nothing short of a superstar rap collaboration; a juggernaut remix . “I gotta close the window before I record / cause New York don’t know how to be quiet”, A$AP Ferg proclaims on the intro, before diving into the first verse. “Coogi down to the socks like I’m biggie poppa / Keep your girl head in my Tommy boxers…”, he proclaims, alluding to The Notorious B.I.G. French Montana takes the second verse (“when they mask up, coming for your ice / when they barefaced, they coming for your life”) while the molly-poppin’ Trinidad James reps for Trinidad, citing “Jamaica, I’m your brother…” Schoolboy Q cites different ages to assert his swagger (“Pimpin’ like I’m 33, move keys like I’m 36 / ship O’s like I’m 28, Tacoma know I’m pushing weight…”). A$AP Rocky revisits violence on the final verse (“A lot of homies cried, due to crimes, homicide / drivin’ by poppin’ nines, Pakistan, Columbine / out of line, pistols barkin’ “ar ar” ride or die…”). There is more than enough goodness to compel for sure.
“Didn’t Wanna Do That” sounds hazy, drenched in the streets and confirmed through its lyrics (“Your chromosomes all on that street life”). The murderous “Murda Something” just might be the crown jewel, featuring a surprisingly impressive Waka Flocka Flame, who lends talents on both the first verse and collaboratively on the hook. The point of the exceptional, violent affair? “Ain’t afraid to murda something…” Basically, Ferg will kill if provoked, regardless of the po-po (aka the cops). He confirms this once more on “Make A Scene”, where his beloved “semi auto tech finna leave a n***a wet, you asked for it…”. But Ferg has the right to shoot – “Neighborhood is rough / and livin’ ain’t easy / streets is so mean / ‘bout to make a scene.”
The effort closes as intriguingly as it opens. “F*** Out My Face” is brutally honest, featuring guests Aston Matthews, Onyx, and B Real. Among the most memorable lines comes from B-Real: “Pass that sh*t like a deadly virus / she want to hit that’s Miley Cyrus / head so hard my god she likes this / change that chicks name to Miley Cypress…” That goes hard! So does the druggy “Cocaine Castle”, which serves as the perfect tone poem considering it’s title. It may not be what you bump when you need a real lift, but it’s definitely something.
All in all, Trap Lord is a fine effort. It is a twisted effort mind you given it’s explicitness and basking in more hellish themes, but if you can handle it, it’s quite rewarding. As alluded to earlier, you may need to repent after listening, particularly on “Lord”, “Hood Pope” and especially on “4:02” and “Dump Dump”. Phew!
Favorites: “Shabba”; “Lord”; “4:02”; “Work (Remix)”; “Murda Something”
- Tracking: A$AP Ferg Breaks Down “Trap Lord” for Complex TV (complex.com)
- A$AP Ferg – Trap Lord (Album Review) (csnowheaties.com)
- Album Review – A$AP Ferg “Traplord” (thepoetryquestion.com)
- ALBUM REVIEW: A$AP Ferg – Trap Lord (okwest.wordpress.com)
- Asap Ferg (Cover Story) (coverstoryexclusive.wordpress.com)