Album Review: Trap Lord

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When you talk about A$AP Mob, you talk about A$AP Rocky. While the mob rolls ten deep, it’s been Rocky that’s been the biggest name. With two killer albums, there’s a reason for that. However, A$AP Ferg’s Trap Lord
 
 
From the moment Trap Lord starts, Ferg makes it obvious he’s taking no prisoners, dropping a grimy, vicious jam in Let It Go. Snappy production and vicious rhymes grab your attention, before Ferg goes into a monologue that reflects on the nature of hip hop, and the success A$AP Mob’s had in the wake of LONG.LIVE.A$AP’s success. It’s an alarmingly conscious acknowledgement on the state of the A$AP Mob, and it remains to be see if the Mob has the strength and depth to become a legitimate supergroup in the Wu-Tang mold.
 
The largest criticisms about A$AP Mob have been twofold. It’s too big, and there’s not been enough production from most of its members to make it worth your attention. Out of the ten members, only Rocky has dropped albums so far, and the group’s yet to even release a studio album of their own, while their debut mixtape Lord$ Never Worry essentially confirmed that A$AP Ferg and Rocky were the most gifted members of the group.
 
 

So Ferg’s debut album definitely has a lot of expectations surrounding it. And actually, he doesn’t fail to deliver. With all eyes and ears on him, Ferg puts together a nasty, grimy album that’s sure to be pumpin’ from your speakers and headphones for years to come. It’s an expansive, ambitious album, with tracks that range from the straight violent (Murda Something, the deadly collab between A$AP Ferg and Waka Flocka Flame), to the relentlessly spiritual (Lord, featuring Bone Thugs-N-Harmony), to the speculative trippy (Cocaine Castle).

A$AP Ferg does a lot towards further establishing A$AP Mob’s credibility, and the production is like nothing else on earth. It’s an intentional move by Ferg, seeking out unknown producers who could give him his vision of hip-hop today, and it’s sonically spectacular. On the one hand it’s almost what you expect out of hip hop in this post-Kanye era. On the other hand, there’s almost nobody else giving us what we’re hearing. We’re looking more and more for introspection mixed up with our hood life fairytales, and Trap Lord delivers. It’s a definitely must hear, and in a summer packed with heat (Yeezus, Born Sinner, Doris), that’s saying a lot.

Trap Lord releases online on August 20th, 2013.

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