A$AP Ferg was ecstatic. In a room full of longtime supporters and journalists, the A$AP Mob member was ready to preview the entire Trap Lord album (due out August 20), a record he’s confident will capture both the clubs and streets. With the explosion of “Work”—which spawned a star-studding remix—many are impatiently waiting for a full-length that can match the caliber of his guest verses and free releases.
After a brief introduction by A$AP Rocky, who came to show love before heading out to perform at this year’s OVO Fest, the spotlight falls on Ferg. He played the entire album, at NYC’s The Darby on Monday (August 5). “The first song is called ‘Let It Go,’” he said. “Good intro to the Trap Lord.”
Two years after the 24-year-old Harlem native’s breakout moment on A$AP Rocky’s “Kissin’ Pink,” Ferg has quickly came into his own as a solo artist. Just days after the release of Rocky’s debut album, Long.Live.A$AP, he signed a deal with Polo Grounds Music/RCA Records. Much like Rocky, he hasn’t stopped putting in work, building an organic buzz that hopes to crossover to an even larger audience.
Aesthetically, Trap Lord sounds similar to some of Rocky’s older material. However, there’s a certain twist to it that makes it entirely Ferg. There are nods to genres like Houston screw music and West Coast bounce, as well as numerous references to Harlem. On the Bone Thugs-N-Harmony-assisted song “Lord,” their rapid-fire lyricism is on full display, as they deliver their signature sound over a stark backdrop. The song ends with a prayer by Bizzy Bone, signifying that church is in session for the Trap Lords.
The majority of the album finds Ferg rapping about relatable topics in both personal and humorous moments. On the slow-burning “Fergivicious,” Ferg connects with Rocky about losing his father and the conversations they’ve shared. “All I know is pain,” he declares in the opening line. Meanwhile, “I Fucked Your Bitch” is a fun ode to rap’s obsession with taking your girl, even going as far as saying that the song is “so disrespectful.”
Earlier this year, Ferg was involved in a minor dispute with Gucci Mane over the album title, claiming that he was biting his style. Ferg slightly addressed the feud—“Lords don’t hate”—and explained how “Murda Something” with Waka Flocka Flame came together. “I had to get one of his trap gods, which is now a trap lord.” Ferg and Waka rap tough-talking rhymes about slinging bullets to haters.
Ferg left listeners with “Fuck Out My Face”—his track with Onyx that’s distinctively hardcore—and “Cocaine Castle.” He described the last song as one that meant a lot to him, pointing out that “everybody has a family member that has overcome a drug habit.” The track, which is dreamy and distorted, is inspired by the crackhouse named Taj Mahal in the 1991 Spike Lee film Jungle Fever.
A$AP Yams closed out the listening session with saying how proud he was to see the A$AP Mob ascending to the top of the rap game. It’s apparent with Ferg—who had everyone in the building from Bodega Bamz and Black Dave to Kitty and Chippy Nonstop—that he’s got an album to take him to the next level. Bow down to the Trap Lord.—Eric Diep (@E_Diep)