Just like the rest of A$AP Mob, young gun A$AP Ferg’s debut LP has a pretty good handle on the classic lean-soaked ego builders the Harlem crew in known for. After a slow-rolling intro courtesy of A$AP Yams, Ferg’s, Trap Lord, opens with an array of gunfire. Ferg aggressively cuts through the backing synths of “Let It Go” with ease. The real album theme becomes clear in the Bone Thugs-featuring single “Lord” which suggests, when you are raised with nothing, there are really only a few choices to survive a neighborhood littered with violence. A) find peace or B) take over the community with drugs and violence. Ferg juggles both in his own trill way.
On top of the cavernous bass rolls of “Dump Dump”, Ferg displays an overdose of masculinity. He essentially uses sex as a weapon against “ratchets” and the feuding fellas that he stole them from. Bricksquad rapper Waka Flocka Flame creates an even more vivid image of hood violence on the bombastic festival-trap beats of “Murda Something”. While we’re talking about features, the A$AP Rocky assisted singles “Shabba” and “Work Remix” (also featuring Schoolboy Q, French Montana, and Trinidad James) add a sense of comedic relief to these acts of violence, and in turn, make them more digestible for a suburban fan base.
However, Ferg begins to distinguish himself from Rocky and the rest of the Mob in his ability to compose truly heartfelt ballads. Ferg possesses an obvious and useful street-wisdom that must be shared to balance the many verses about guns, money, and power. When sorta-singing the verses of “Hood Pope” and “Make Sense”, Ferg really allows the listener to sneak a glimpse of his softer side.
Originally planned to be a mixtape, there’s a little bit of an unfinished feeling to Trap Lord, which in turn leads me to believe that there will be an eventual follow-up. If Ferg can harness his trap sound and mix it with a little more melody sprinkled throughout a full project, the Trap Lord follow should prove to be just as strong (if not stronger) than his debut.