Exactly one week from today on August 20, A$AP Ferg's highly anticipated debut album, Trap Lord, is set to release in stores and online. The 13-track LP boast features from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Onyx, and Waka Flocka Flame, plus his standout record "Work (Remix)" featuring A$AP Rocky, French Montana, Trinidad Jame$ & ScHoolboy Q. Right on the cusp of breaking out on his own, it appears that Fergenstein is the next A$AP Mob member to rise into the mainstream, following cohort A$AP Rocky. During a photo shoot for XXL's 150th issue, Ferg sat down with XXL to discuss his favorite cuts off the album, his creative direction and where his signature ad-lib came from. —Emmanuel C.M. (@ECM_LP)

On His Favorite Parts Of Trap Lord
"Overall, the whole album is my favorite. I made sure I nitpicked everything I didn’t like off the album, and to this day I’m still nitpicking and making it better. But, if there had to be a few songs that I will always say, 'Ayo, listen to this,' it would have to be, 'Cocaine Castle,' which is a song that I did that I love on there. There’s another song called ''Bout to Make a Scene' going into 'Fuck Out My Face,' those two songs add up to one song, but you get the option to listen to either one or the other. So it’s actually those, I would have to say 'Shabba Ranks.' 'Shabba Ranks' is my single that I just put out, and it goes hard. It’s got that same kind of similar bounce to 'Work,' but it’s just a little more up-tempo. So those are my three favorites I would have to say. Three or four...you’d have to say four cause 'Fuck Out My Face' and ''Bout to Make a Scene' are really two songs put in one."

On Creating Videos
"Since day one I’ve always had creative control over my videos and visuals because I just feel like as an artist, you have to be well-rounded, and different artists are using different mediums. Like, only you can know what you want your vision to be because you know what type of story you’re tryna tell. Can’t nobody, like any director—I don’t care how long he’s been in the business—come and tell your story. He can only relate and make your story better. So I collab with different directors who I feel can do that the best for me."

On Controlling All Aspects Of The Album
"I’ve been really getting into engineering, 'cause I’m into manipulating sounds and developing sounds and just taking my voice and changing it and adding different effects and shit like that. I’m really into creating sound. I’ve learned a lot, sonically, just hanging out with a lot of engineers and producers, how to make your sound bigger and grander. Just like whatever I’ve been thinking about, just like a painter who wants to paint a canvas, he may use oil to a more real effect or better blend on a skin complexion, or shadows, but you use acrylics when you want to do a bold abstract, that’s just like with me. When it comes down to my music, sonically I use different mediums to get a different result."

On Hip-Hop Ad-Libs
"You know what I was thinking bout? I was thinking about exactly what you were just saying—about the greatest ad-libs, the most iconic ad-libs. Everybody’s always gonna remember Jeezy’s ad-libs. Like Kanye used Jeezy’s ad-libs on 'Can’t Tell Me Nothing.' When I heard that, like, with his sound and just Jeezy’s ad-libs, that shit blew my mind. That meant that Jeezy could just probably sell his ad-libs on iTunes or some shit like that—he could make money off just his ad-libs. So I’m just like, 'Listen, I need some iconic ad-libs.' I thought about DMX, and I couldn’t really bark like DMX and I would’ve felt funny. Growing up I was always around a lot of collegiate people, and I thought about, like, the Alphas and the Que Dogs, and we always used to have fun acting like the Que Dogs, and I just did that shit on a song and it sounded crazy. So basically, it’s just a Que Dog bark. Shout out to all my Omegas, all my Que Dogs out there.

"That’s my style, when I’m speaking about it, my style is unorthodox. I’ve always wondered, when I didn’t have my style developed, I was like, 'So what’s gonna be my shit?' Jay Z got the 'Young!' You know, Rick Ross got the 'Ruh!' It’s like, what am I gonna do to make me stand out? And I get so bored that that’s natural for me to just switch up so much and be so versatile. So that’s basically my style, it’s unorthodox."