A$AP Ferg Trap Lord

A$AP FergTrap Lord
Harlem, NY rapper A$AP Ferg has established himself as the warped right-hand man of A$AP Mob cohort A$AP Rocky. After stellar cameos on Mob-affiliated projects, on debut Trap Lord, Ferg blends two decades of rap styles, from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and M.O.P. to Southern trap rap. Ferg pays tribute to his influences while expanding upon them: Bone Thugs blaze through the operatic "Lord," while "Fuck Out My Face" revives '95 shout-rap via Three 6 Mafia, with verses from Aston Matthews and a reinvigorated Onyx and B-Real. Ferg fluidly transitions from smooth crooning to aggressive ratatat spitting, alternating between murderous ("Fergivicious," "Dump Dump") and melancholy ("Hood Pope"). Despite missteps like the curious filler of "4.02" and the messy "Work" remix, Trap Lord is mostly killer. Ferg matches Waka Flocka Flame's energy on riotous 187 anthem "Murda Somethin," while Rocky team-up "Shabba" retains its infectious weirdness over repeat listens. On half-sung, half-rapped closer "Cocaine Castle," Ferg takes an affecting look at the long-term impact of drugs over a watery, piano-based beat that flips to gongs and chanting for its second half. Although it breaks from the album's dominant nihilistic tone, "Cocaine Castle" leaves the biggest impression via its emotional investment. In contrast to comrade Rocky's music, Trap Lord succeeds largely despite its production, fuelled by Ferg's oddball enthusiasm and sincerity. You don't have to accept the Trap Lord as your saviour, but you'll have more fun if you do. (RCA)