Published Nov 28, 2014Though Black Friday flooded the Internet with ridiculous sales and even more ridiculous trampling videos, A$AP Ferg, the trap lord himself, blessed us that day by releasing his first project since his debut album last year, the new Gangsta Grillz-hosted mixtape Ferg Forever. The tape is jam packed with stellar features by MIA, YG, Big Sean, Twista and Wynter Gordon, to name a few — unfortunately there's no Ja Rule, though there's a song named after him.
Production comes courtesy of a slew of talented contributors, including longtime A$AP affiliate Clams Casino, the man behind all the bangerz, Mike WiLL Made It, and southern beau Big K.R.I.T., amongst others. Ranging from hi-hat-aplenty trap sounds (see "Perfume") to the gritty sound of '90s New York rap (on "NV") Ferg shows his versatility by mastering a variety of sounds. Lesser-known producer Stelios Phili shines on the uncharacteristically dreamy "Real Thing," featuring Top Dawg Entertainment sweetheart SZA, whose hypnotizing vocals make for an undeniable mixtape highlight.
Ferg gets in touch with his sensitive side and gets much off his chest with sentimental cuts "Bonaroo," on which he reflects on his quick rise, "Uncle," an expression of his resentment toward his good-for-nothing relative, "Thug Cry," which tells the story of his abandoning his wife and child and impregnating a mistress, and "Commitment Issues" crediting them to his lack of positive role models, all of which make the mixtape a more personal experience for fans and a little TMI for casual listeners.
Don't let his tenderness fool you, though: Fergenstein, his crude alter ego, remains strongly present, especially on "Doe Active," a hilarious asshole anthem and the lead single of the project. Ferg boasts about having "a hundred dollar bill for every bump on your face," and reminds listeners of the stacks on racks of stacks he's got.
On the playful "Jolly," Ferg brings back the patois that brought him his previous hit, "Shabba," rhyming in his popular sped-up flow with Trinidadian soca artist Bunji Garlin on the effectively catchy hook. However, what stands out and gives "Jolly" the same authenticity Shabba Ranks did by appearing in his namesake video is a feature from OG dancehall queen, Spice, who murks both her verse and A$AP Ferg's flow.
At 19 tracks long, Ferg Forever certainly isn't short and sweet, and some songs are rather lacklustre in contrast to the standouts. That being said, Ferg dips his feet in different and experimental sounds here, showing artistic growth. The mixtape is a solid addition to the A$AP Mob catalogue and for free, it's a steal. (A$AP Worldwide)