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A$AP Ferg - Trap Lord Album Cover

A$AP Ferg - Trap Lord

Reviewed by
7.5
A$AP Ferg - Trap Lord
Release Date: August 20, 2013
Record Label: A$AP Worldwide/RCA
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
Back in 2011, a young rapper from Harlem emerged with a mixtape that contained a fresh, new sound that had people everywhere singing its praises. A$AP Rocky's debut mixtape, Live.Love.A$AP flaunted style over substance, but the style was too infectious to write it off on the basis of being "swag rap." Rocky exploded seemingly over night, and although no one in the group gained as much attention as he did, Rocky's A$AP Mob was now on people's radars. They released their group mixtape last summer, and after that mediocre release, it became hard to see anyone else besides Rocky doing anything worthwhile music-wise. Nobody had the captivating style of Rocky, and nobody had the skills he possessed.

Over the last few months, however, A$AP Ferg has been gearing up for his debut full length Trap Lord, and the singles he released before the album suggested that he has the charisma and personality necessary to carry an album. While that's mostly true throughout Trap Lord, he still lacks the kind of technical rapping skill that made A$AP Rocky reach star status. Regardless, A$AP Ferg has constructed an album that surpasses the quality of Rocky's Long.Live.A$AP from earlier this year.

Pinning these two up against each other may be unfair, as they are two pretty different artists, but they both come from the same place, run with the same crowd, and have similarities in their content and subject matter. Where the difference lies is in the production and in the way they fit in with the production they choose. "Shabba," which features none other than A$AP Rocky, is the kind of style-flaunting anthem that's not too far from Rocky's own "Goldie," but "Shabba" is a much darker and menacing song than "Goldie," and when A$AP Ferg is rapping about shooting people up, you can't help but fear him. With all of the background ad libs Ferg tosses in over his overblown flow and rhymes, he comes across as the kind of cartoon villain that's downright insane. He's crazy, he's funny, and you can't wait to see what he does next.

There's another layer to what A$AP Ferg is conveying throughout Trap Lord, and that's the idea of a higher power. Not necessarily in the way that Kanye West declares himself a God, but with an album with the name Trap Lord and songs with the titles like "Lord" and "Hood Pope," you kind of get the idea that he sees himself as a God of the trap. As with any person of power in a trap setting, A$AP Ferg has relentless aggression towards his opposition but is loyal and giving to those close to him. On the serene "Hood Pope," he sings "Young Trap Lord, feel your pain, I be down for my people." He's not exactly breaking boundaries with the narrative he's taking on, but he plays the part convincingly enough to make the music interesting.

Even if the lyrical content of the album puts you off, the songs themselves are, for the most part, damn good. The aggressive songs like "Let It Go" and "Work" are strong enough to make guys like Waka Flocka Flame proud, and Waka himself shows up on album highlight "Murda Something." Speaking of guests, the A$AP Mob has always taken a ton of influence from Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, and the legendary group shows up for a couple of stunning verses on "Lord." Things aren't always laced with in-your-face aggression, but when things are toned down a bit on "4:02" and "Cocaine Castle," the songs fail to grasp your attention in the way some of the heavier songs do. The balance between the two styles, however, keeps the album from being too loaded in one or the other.

This time last year, nobody could have predicted that A$AP Ferg would put out a better album than A$AP Rocky in 2013. Yet here we are, and as of right now Trap Lord trumps Long.Live.A$AP. Over time, Trap Lord could easily succumb to the same problems that Long.Live.A$AP has, as the replay value of the album is still yet to be determined. But overall, the songs are stronger, Ferg displays a much more interesting character, and the album flows better. Trap Lord isn't the answer to hip-hop in 2013, but it's a good enough time to remind us why there is plenty of value in music that aims to entertain.


7.5/10
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 24
10:51 AM on 08/19/13
#2
Holly HoX!
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Really really good debut I think. Feeling this more than Doris as it stands right now.

The opener here is just so good.

Obviously the dude is much more versatile than Rocky or anyone on ASAP for that matter.
10:52 AM on 08/19/13
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Jake Jenkins
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Really really good debut I think. Better than Doris as it stands right now for me.

The opener here is just so good.
that's definitely my favorite right now. shits so good.
10:55 AM on 08/19/13
#4
Holly HoX!
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that's definitely my favorite right now. shits so good.

Wish it didn't have the intro outro dialog for party purposes. Still goes hard
11:09 AM on 08/19/13
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lightcollapse
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the only way this is better than doris is if you seriously listen to this kind of music not at all for innovations to language, poetry, etc, like something like that just wouldn't register as one of your interests
11:10 AM on 08/19/13
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Jake Jenkins
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the only way this is better than doris is if you seriously listen to this kind of music not at all for innovations to language, poetry, etc, like something like that just wouldn't register as one of your interests
#tru
11:20 AM on 08/19/13
#7
Holly HoX!
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the only way this is better than doris is if you seriously listen to this kind of music not at all for innovations to language, poetry, etc, like something like that just wouldn't register as one of your interests

Haha

Obviously Earl is amazing. I like Doris quite a bit as a heady, Doom-esque lyricist and listening experience. But Trap Lord is that feel good music. It's not deep or introspective - which is exactly why I love it.

I have a record like Trap Lord for when I'm not listening to more nuanced, socially conscience rap. Just like Rocky, it's a banger, have fun record.
11:21 AM on 08/19/13
#8
Holly HoX!
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It serves its purpose quite well in that respect
11:22 AM on 08/19/13
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Jake Jenkins
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It's serves its purpose quite well in that respect
fair point. you can prefer one over the other for sure....from an objective stand point, i think its pretty easy to call doris "better"
11:25 AM on 08/19/13
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fair point. you can prefer one over the other for sure....from an objective stand point, i think its pretty easy to call doris "better"

Definitely. Didn't mean to say that in my initial comparison. Oops. Wasn't really comparing the two. They aren't really comparable.

But if we're judging Doris on its own, I'm kinda let down by it as it stands right now. The flows and wordplay are ridiculously great, but it feels more like a free form mix tape than an official major label debut. At least to me...we can discuss that in that review tho
12:26 PM on 08/19/13
phaynes1
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Another great review from pal Yake.
12:54 PM on 08/19/13
bowbzzz
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fair point. you can prefer one over the other for sure....from an objective stand point, i think its pretty easy to call doris "better"
I'd argue that Earl is a better rapper, but Trap Lord is a better album. It flows better imo and is more concise. Doris is kind of all over the place, which can be good, but I don't feel like he pulled it off well enough. I could've had too high of expectations too.
03:00 PM on 08/19/13
Jake Jenkins
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Another great review from pal Yake.
ty friend!
03:00 PM on 08/19/13
Jake Jenkins
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I'd argue that Earl is a better rapper, but Trap Lord is a better album. It flows better imo and is more concise. Doris is kind of all over the place, which can be good, but I don't feel like he pulled it off well enough. I could've had too high of expectations too.
fair, fair. i'll be able to divulge my full thoughts on doris soon enough.
03:08 PM on 08/19/13
lightcollapse
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Definitely. Didn't mean to say that in my initial comparison. Oops. Wasn't really comparing the two. They aren't really comparable.

But if we're judging Doris on its own, I'm kinda let down by it as it stands right now. The flows and wordplay are ridiculously great, but it feels more like a free form mix tape than an official major label debut. At least to me...we can discuss that in that review tho

You're paying too much attention to some kind of non-existent, established system of what releases "should" consist of. But if you think the lyrical gymnastics of "Doris" are worthy of only a throwaway datpiff page, then I don't know what to tell you dude. But if you don't mind the mindless clichés that have been getting way too much attention of late, the "Hangover 3"s of hip hop, then "Trap Lord" is the album for you.

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