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A$AP Ferg Isn’t Always Godlike On ‘Trap Lord’

There was a time when it seemed like A$AP Ferg’s debut mixtape Trap Lord would never see the light of day. Since the A$AP Mob member’s introduction to the world on standout cuts “Persian Wine” and “Work” from the collective’s 2012 Lord$ Never Worry mixtape, fans who desired a grittier, more versatile answer to A$AP Rocky’s efficient but clean-cut raps called for Ferg to release a project. As the pleas grew louder, Ferg started to tease his project and miss new release dates with every passing month. Then in May (days after Lord’s most recent “release date”), he finally came out and said it—Trap Lord was set to drop on August 20. Since then, the project was upgraded from free mixtape to a studio album, which actually (really) drops today.

On first listen, Trap Lord is a fun ride chauffeured by a sex—and braggadocio—obsessed Ferg. Through 13 tracks, he soundtracks the type of night you imagine the Mob has when they’re back home in New York—filled with bountiful amounts of sex, drugs, money and nondescript, boastful fuckery. If there’s one thing Ferg knows how to do, it’s get you in the mood to rage, and so Trap Lord is sprinkled with a handful of party-starters, including: rowdy posse cut “Work (Remix),” with a beat so booming even French Montana’s lyrical deficiency couldn’t ruin it; the Waka Flocka-assisted anthem “Murda Something,” a perfect collaboration that establishes Waka and Ferg as a raucous tag team made in trap heaven; and “Dump Dump,” which features the aggro, all-caps refrain “I FUCKED YOUR BITCH, NIGGA, I FUCKED YOUR BITCH.”

The problem with Ferg’s swag raps, though, is that like any party (or after-party) that goes on for too long, it ends up just feeling overwrought and repetitive, as if he set out to pen How To Make Illuminati Rap For Dummies. An easy touchstone to compare Ferg’s Trap Lord to would be his friend Rocky’s—their styles, subject matters and aesthetics are nearly identical—debut Long.Live.A$AP, which soared to the top spot on Billboard partly because of its radio-friendly single “Fuckin’ Problems,” but mostly because it was a solid, diverse and interesting album that kept listeners intrigued throughout. Rocky’s debut had depth, where Ferg’s Trap Lord submits to cliches and reiterates the same ideas over similar-sounding production. Then there’s “4:02,” a three and a half minute interlude that finds Ferg narrating a threesome starring… you guessed it, your bitch.

What’s most disappointing about Trap Lord is that Ferg’s vocal dexterity and general weirdness could yield some incredible music. Just take a listen to his bat-shit crazy verse on “Ghetto Symphony,” a bonus cut from Rocky’s debut, where Ferg bends his voice, stops, starts, dips and dives through a rapid-fire 16 filled with references to OutKast, Chips Ahoy! and Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s un-duplicatable superhero rap from a guy who convinces you he could do anything on the right beat, but just as promising as that verse is, Trap Lord’s 13 tracks are indicative of a rapper who may be way more limited than we thought. The project is also marred by a litany of unnecessary references to Rocky and the rest of the A$AP Mob, perhaps hinting that Ferg is afraid or unable to stand on his own without his cohorts behind him.

Still, there are a few shining moments on Trap Lord, like the swaying “Hood Pope,” which finds Ferg crooning about finding his purpose in bleak surroundings, and “Cocaine Castle,” a ruminating, meandering ode to the dark side of drug excess. For a guy who’s able to craft such challenging songs, it’s a shame to see him waste his talent on a batch of hood anthems, but maybe that’s all it takes to become a Trap Lord. On the album’s intro, A$AP Mob’s leader A$AP Yams proclaims, “The limbs never been so relaxed, ever.” You can’t help but wonder if Ferg hadn’t been so relaxed making Trap Lord, it might’ve come out a much stronger work.

  • too_trill

    this album review is the tipping point for me. all hope and respect for XXL has been lost

    • xxl

      why’s that?

      • Nathanael Joseph

        cuz its better than fuckin doris and all the other bs you hand out xls to

  • Nikker-Chink

    Deserves an XL IMO, very solid album, awesome production.

    • Joe Lambon

      totally agree. Not even a mention of “Let it Go” which is the best track on the album

  • Nick

    the beats definitely should’ve been xxl. the production was so crazy on this album!!! other than that everything was pretty much on point

  • JC

    BRUHS….this coming from the niggas that said Meek and Lil B’s latest projects are better than Cole’s last project. I like meek but his album shoulda been a L at the most. n i never fucked wit B, but when i did he just rambled on unoriginal beats. they dick riders, type of niggas that are gonna give Jay Z a XL guaranteed on his next project even tho it’ll be worse than magna carta.

    FUCK NIGGAs.

  • Stephen Murad

    This album was seriously solid. They are complaining about his raps talking about nothing but “sex” and “drugs”? Have a listen to LONG.LIVE.A$AP again, and…HUH….guess what?! It’s the same story. Hell, they even gave praise for a song entitled “Fuckin’ Problems” and then follow that up with a statement claiming that the album is very diverse, “unlike” Trap Lord. Honestly, after my first couple listen-throughs, I was shocked that a semi-popular rapper like him could actually put out a real, dirty-south influenced hip-hop album. It’s sad that in this world a song like the afformentioned “problems” gets the top of the charts. “I love bad bitches, that’s my fuckin’ problem. And yeah I like to fuck, I got a fuckin’ problem”. OH JEEZ THAT MUST’VE TAKEN HIM YEARS TO WRITE THAT HOOK. And hmm, let’s pepper in some Drake just because it’s Drake. I’m not saying the lyrics on lord are innovative, because they aren’t, but they just have a different feel to them.

    Having a real hip-hop group like Onyx on the “fuck outta my face”, now that is a real hip-hop song to me. Simple production, angry but fun verses, not all of this overproduced, auto-tuned bs that is all over the radio and what not.

    End of rant, just wanted to point this out. XD

  • King Kendrick Lamar

    this deserves an xl for sure. xxl seems to hand out xl’s for just about every album, I don’t see how this is only an l. trap lord isn’t a revolutionary album but a lot of the tracks on here are really dope and I was bumpin it all day today. I’ve only just started listening to Ferg, but if you like A$AP Rocky, you’ll also like this album.

  • pony head stomper

    trap lord means all the above sex money drugs just saying

  • Fkn problem

    you’re a fkn clown for this review.Trap lord was very solid and in my opinion every bit as solid as live.love.asap.

  • manganime

    How is there no mention of the song with Bone Thugs in this review? “…even French Montana’s lyrical deficiency couldn’t ruin it” LOL!

  • Fleece Johnson

    How do they only point out the obvious hype tracks of the album and discredit songs like “Lord,” “Fergivicious,” or Cocaine Castle? He put out a surprisingly good debut from a member of A$AP Mob I wasn’t even all that impressed with before this. Lyrics and beats need to be XL and Originality obviously L

  • Ben

    From my listens, I would say you missed the boat on this one. Listen carefully and the sound you describe as “overwrought” and “repetitive” can be heard as deep and textural, his words not paining themselves to create fresh content for the sake of surface variety, but rather retracing their steps with subtle variation to paint a detailed, encompassing picture of what life in the trap is like. You say Rocky’s debut had more “depth” than Ferg’s, but where Rocky’s album jumped mindlessly from one shallow quip to the next, Ferg sensitively sculpts a singular aesthetic to create a soundscape that completely immerses you in the violence, sex, drugs and hopelessness of his environment, while embracing his de-facto role as the “Lord” presiding over the whole affair. Songs like “Hood Pope” and “Cocaine Castle” serve to illustrate his self-awareness, longing for purpose, and sensitivity to struggle, but also reiterate the inescapability of the trap– that his genuine emotions can exist in spite of his environment, but are still no match for it’s grasp on him.

    I think it’s also worth mentioning that “Murda Something” is indeed a radio-friendly “trap” song, but it contains almost none of the textural and narrative depth of the rest of the album, and really struck me as cheaply-concocted and misplaced.

  • ♛ Wally West ♛

    Deserves an XL

  • Kristijonas

    Was so ecstatic to bump to this shit when it hit… got through the whole thing in one listen and then nixed every song after the Work remix off of my player. Was expecting a lot more depth from this dude. 4:02 was a fucking disgrace.

    • I FUCKED YOUR BITCH

      HAHAHAHA ALOT MORE DEPTH FROM THE NIGGA WHOSE ALBUM IS CALLED TRAP LORD AND MADE SHABBA RANK . GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE IF YOU WANT DEPTH GO SUCK KENDRICK LAMARS DICK LETS SEE HOW DEEP YOU GET BITCH

      • Kristijonas

        You, sir, are a true wordsmith.

  • J’ MO

    Really??? an L and thats it? I give a lot of rappers a honest judge free listen before I comment on their albums. I gave this the same listen, and it made me go to Best Buy to buy it. I think this guy is a hater, or Ferg actually FUCKED HIS BITCH. This Trap Lord album is one of the top 5 most entertaining albums of this year so far. Go Buy IT And Enjoy!

  • riceinmyroom

    i dont understand why these previous comments have so many likes… this album is not good…almost want to say close to the nasty poops i take.. its all about coke and bitches with im fine with but cmon guys, shits boring

  • SS87

    Pretty solid album. More consistent listen than Rocky’s due to there no really being any filler, but as far as all ASAP Mob projects:

    1st Rocky Tape > Lords Never Worry > Trap Lord > Rocky’s Debut

  • Name

    On first listen, I completely agree with the review. While it’s a solid album, and at most points rather fun, for lady listeners like myself, the ish gets downright scary-weird towards the middle lol. 4:02???!! and Dump Dump???!!, <–what in the actual FUGG? I agree with the L rating..it seems to be front-loaded and IMO it gets boring after a while. The only thing that kept me listening past Dump Dump was the production and the fact that I wanted to REALLY listen to it. Rocky just seems to have more depth to me and I guess I gravitate towards his clean-cut delivery versus Ferg. I'll definitely keep it in rotation though. Who knows?…it may grow on me. I am definitely intrigued with A$AP Mob though. Excited to hear from the rest of the guys.

  • Gil.

    How do they not mention Bone Thugs-n- Harmony on Lord? Like honestly, everytime Bone is featured on a song on any album XXL reviews, they are never mentioned. It’s almost as if they purposely leave them out…

  • Lefty 2 Gunz

    Unfortunately this Nigga A$ap Ferg… aint got it to me .. He is just a Average rapper that is enjoyable socially amongst friends but when im by myself i dont turn this shit on .. HE APPRECIATES HIP HOP but he doesnt quite know how to make it . The Beats are dope as Fuck he is really carried by them. Lyrically he just dont Have it .. HIS DELIVERY is clever but the words he is delivering isnt. For an artist first album you need to get personal And let your fans Know who you are and what you came from .. i should be album to feel like you are my bestfriend after i listen to your frist album..after listening to trap lord i dont feel like i know anything about this nigga except he like bitches and drugs. and his Message is quite confusing He talks about choppas and shit on this Album But on his breakfast Club Interview he said he aint no thug and trapping to HIm is “Selling music” in chicago that aint trapping my nigga. so are you are thug? you a nigga who hung around the thugs ? are you a nigga had thugs in the family? or are you a pretender? I dont know cuz you didnt eloborate on your life in this album. … BUT I MUST SAY when the hipster bitches are around… I bumping this shit .. but when I wanna face a doobie get inspired or reflect on life this will not even come to mind. Get a M from me ..

  • cmack510

    not fan of trap music but ferg does is right

  • The GoodKat

    Ferg has a style all his own. You guys def underrated this album

  • 2pac1996

    So Kanye Shit Was Better? Sounds Legit. Lol Smh