ASAP Ferg
Trap Lord


3.0
good

Review

by Nathan Flynn CONTRIBUTOR (68 Reviews)
August 19th, 2013 | 387 replies | 16,535 views


Release Date: 08/20/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Debut release of the Mob's second-in-line fails to make a lasting impression

Killer Mike’s recent claim “all your false idols are just pretenders” has no better example than A$AP Rocky and the rest of his Mob. By now, A$AP Yams is an open secret in the hip-hop community as a shrewd puppeteer- having taken Rocky from an identity-less Harlem rapper to a bona fide star behind the strength of his Tumblr page and a manufactured identity in just three years. But one star isn’t enough for Yams, who sees himself as the new millennium’s version of Irv Gotti. A January New York Times piece had the man behind the curtain proclaiming A$AP Ferg his next big star. However, with nowhere near as much charisma as Rocky and a sing-song flow partially borrowed from Ol’ Dirty Bastard, turning Ferg into a star in his own right would be a Herculean task for anyone, that is, except Yams.

The rollout of Trap Lord was perfectly executed: first single “Work (Remix)” diluted Ferg’s somewhat overbearing first verse with young studs Trinidad James, French Montana, Schoolboy Q and Rocky himself, “Shabba” partnered the Mob’s two stars - the same duo who produced 2011’s incredible “Kissin Pink”- and “Hood Pope” unveiled the main attraction along with the pre-order of his album. By slowly introducing the Trap Lord, his sound became more palatable; by the time Trap Lord starting streaming a week before its official release the amount of hype surrounding the album had shot through the roof. A rapper who seemed initially unmarketable all of a sudden became a hot commodity and a lot easier to connect with.

Despite this, Trap Lord is no easy listen. Ferg is equal parts street grit and drug haze, flaunting his anatomy and hood cred in equal proportion and integrating heavy moans into the drab atmosphere. The sound is definitively his own, but it’s a very minimalist approach. On “Didn’t Wanna Do That,” for example, his voice and skit are far more dynamic than the beat, a stark pounding of 808s and distorted guitar notes. Ferg may not be able to carry a tune, but the way his voice wobbles and wavers over the beats is both endearing and distracting. As he enters the upper register, his voice sounds unsure and as it drops lower he comes off as angry. Switching between the two is a conflict of interest- a happy medium is rarely found- but when the intonations befit the track, Ferg is unstoppable.

Vocal experiments ultimately prove to be a mixed blessing for Trap Lord. The rapping is technically proficient, albeit difficult to evaluate because of its distinctiveness, and erratic. Ferg accelerates certain lines, accelerates others and oscillates at terrifying pace while the beats drag their feet. His energy and attitude seem better fit on livewire beats, and indeed shines brightest when partnered with Waka Flocka Flame on the unabashedly raw “Murda Something,” so working with the supplied instrumentals is something of a disappointment, a cap placed on the potential. Whereas Rocky’s sound and image had been meticulously engineered for Live.Love.A$AP, Ferg is still unrefined. Occasionally he’s a tougher, colder killer, the next moment he’s carefree, his sing-song vibrantly echoing off the wall. The effect is one akin to Jim Carrey playing the Godfather: an inherently talented performer stuck in the wrong role.

Between the branding issues and hollow beats, Trap Lord seems like a missed opportunity. Instead of having a true, inimitable identity, A$AP Ferg is a cobbled together amalgamation of all things definitively New York that ultimately aren’t compatible when blended. For his part, Ferg is an exciting if divisive performer who is legitimately interesting and able to hold his own against an impressive stable of guest stars- excepting perhaps Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, who parlay their appearance on “Lord” into a dominating performance. However, Ferg fails to remain engaging through the entirety of Trap Lord, and his solo tracks often fall short when trying to reach the bar set by his guest-assisted songs. There is star potential here, but it’ll take more refining before A$AP Ferg becomes worthy of the huge amount of buzz he generated.



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user ratings (162)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
August 19th 2013



8927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Uninspiring

Digging: Phantogram - Voices

Tyrael
August 19th 2013



20393 Comments


Unsurprising

Digging: Lantlos - Melting Sun

Greyvy
August 19th 2013



3000 Comments


Some cool production on this album but nothing really memorable about it

Digging: This Ascension - Light And Shade

guitarded_chuck
August 19th 2013



2394 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

if it has some "cool production" how the fuck is it a 1.0?

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
August 19th 2013



17319 Comments


shabba is awesome

Digging: Monolake - Interstate

Buzzkillr
August 19th 2013



1510 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think you're going a little far with the whole 'manufactured image and sound' theory, what exactly are your sources?

Greyvy
August 19th 2013



3000 Comments


if it has some "cool production" how the fuck is it a 1.0?

Dam dont let my rating get you all emotional

FourthReich
August 19th 2013



15303 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

nice review, can't be any higher than a 3, the rapping is just so dumb

guitarded_chuck
August 19th 2013



2394 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"nice review, can't be any higher than a 3, the rapping is just so dumb"

it's not a lyrical album. no asap album is about the lyrics. it's about progressive hip hop / sonically conscious shit and production mixed with traditionally aggressive lyrics.

not too mention he's got fucking insane flow.

guitarded_chuck
August 19th 2013



2394 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

i mean unless you think everything in the trap music genre is less than a 3.0 than that's cool i disagree though

FourthReich
August 19th 2013



15303 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

it's not a lyrical album. no asap album is about the lyrics. it's about progressive hip hop / sonically conscious shit and production mixed with traditionally aggressive lyrics.


very overused, and tired argument man. i gave both rocky albums over a 3.5, and for the same reason you're giving. i think ferg's flow is garbage. i wasn't even talking about the lyrics, he sounds so awkward on here most of the time, can't stand it.

if you'd like to talk about lyrics, sure, almost the entire sub-genre of trap is an abomination imo. you don't have to be the world's best lyricist( again look at rocky) but don't make excuses for garbage lyrics. although i will says again, that's not why i gave this a 2.5.

guitarded_chuck
August 19th 2013



2394 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

his flow is inventive, varied, and skilled

it isn't accessible and it's different. it's definitely not "garbage" lol.

i wouldn't call his flow on lord to be "awkward" :/

FourthReich
August 19th 2013



15303 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

if you want we can compare what i think the best song is on here to rocky's best song of his latest lp, let me know if you hear the difference in overall quality

shabba-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXZxipry6kE

lvl-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQLg4iVoc7E

no contest imo, both lack in lyrics but one is a way better rapper from a flow standpoint.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
August 19th 2013



17319 Comments


hip hop isnt about what you say but how you say it

FourthReich
August 19th 2013



15303 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

agreed wholeheartedly, that's why i don't like this and most trap

guitarded_chuck
August 19th 2013



2394 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

the obvious difference here is clams casino. that's a better song than on either but it's because of production, nothing to do with flow or lyrics.

i love rocky and love that album and love lvl but rocky has absolutely shit on ferg's flow. like i'm not sure how it isn't obvious.

guitarded_chuck
August 19th 2013



2394 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

oh and ps - shabba is definitely not the best on here

you like it because it's more accessible. you like rocky because he's more accessible.

=/= more skill

FourthReich
August 19th 2013



15303 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"but rocky has absolutely shit on ferg's flow. like i'm not sure how it isn't obvious."

damn well suum cuique then, not sure how many would agree with that.

"that's a better song than on either but it's because of production, nothing to do with flow or lyrics."

k, then listen to suddenly

Buzzkillr
August 19th 2013



1510 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

agreed wholeheartedly, that's why i don't like this and most trap

doesn't really make sense from your point of view. all trap has the same subject matter but different rappers approach it differently

guitarded_chuck
August 19th 2013



2394 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"k, then listen to suddenly"

cu$ i've listened to everything amob has put out plenty

again, rocky is dope, but it's because of his swag style combined with the amazing production team he surrounds himself with. as he puts it, he's dat pretty mutha fucka

ferg brings a more experimental and progressive style to his production and is absolutely a more skilled and versatile rapper. he's an ugly mutha fucka but more technically sound 100%.



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