Review Summary: "He playing Batman, Fetty's gon' rob him, ay"
When "Trap Queen" first hit the airwaves in late 2014, the man who called himself Fetty Wap seemed destined for obscurity. Despite the song’s undeniable infectiousness, Fetty himself had no extraordinary qualities to speak of, save perhaps for his bizarre obsession with the number 1738. As "Trap Queen" was a standalone single, Fetty and his label had nothing to follow it up with, seemingly cementing his status as a one-and-done novelty act.
But in the summer of 2015, 6 months after the release of "Trap Queen" (an eternity as far as pop music is concerned), Fetty Wap returned with “679”. Impossibly, it was a huge hit as well, and very likely an even better song. At this point, knowing they had something potentially big on their hands, 300 Entertainment frantically began putting together an album and releasing singles, hoping to capitalize on the buzz before Fetty was evacuated from the public consciousness for good. The result of that mad dash to the recording studio was Fetty Wap’s self-titled debut, released less than a year after Trap Queen first entered the public consciousness.
The very first thing any listener will notice is that the man simply has a knack for crafting terrific hooks. They’re certainly not Shakespearian poetry, no, but tracks like the aforementioned “679” boast fantastic hooks that more than make up for the (expected) lack of lyrical depth. Even with that being said, though, Fetty’s lyrics could be far worse. Despite often appearing sleazy and overtly sexual in nature, rarely do the lyrics ever come across as anything to be taken seriously, much less offended by. Hell, Fetty Wap can occasionally seem genuinely charming in his odd sort of way, with “Trap Queen” being a perfect example of that. Sure, it’s essentially a song about cooking crack, but Fetty does seem to feel genuine affection for his titular “trap queen.”
Unfortunately, it’s not all smooth sailing, as the second thing the listener will notice is the fact that the album is over an hour long,
clocking in at a completely excessive 64 minutes and spanning 17 individual tracks. And that’s just the standard version; the deluxe edition spans a ludicrous 76 minutes. No pop rap album, much less a debut, should come anywhere near an hour in length. The fact that this fate befell a record that was seemingly rushed to shelves is bizarre enough, but the fact that someone actually thought a performer like Fetty Wap would benefit from such excess is incomprehensible.
Further problems arise from the fact that when an album’s appeal falls solely on its choruses, just a few sub-par performances in that regard can be an issue of significant consequence. And, given its bloated length, it’s no surprise that the album in question has several duds. “Jugg,” though moderately catchy, is essentially a lesser version of “My Way.” The poorly-titled “Trap Luv” falls flat as well, and the latter half of the album as a whole is noticeably weaker than its front.
The lyrics are often completely asinine, Fetty himself can’t really sing to save his life, and the damned thing is 64 minutes long. While any one of these facts should be enough to sink the album entirely, I would be lying by claiming that listening to Fetty Wap’s debut album was anything less than an enjoyable experience. No, I don’t feel as if my life was changed in any way by its existence, but pop rap is by no means a genre that requires any sort of substance or emotional depth. It’s a style of music based almost entirely off of catchy hooks, and by that standard both Fetty Wap the performer and Fetty Wap
the album succeed.