Monday, December 1, 2014

Review: "Ferg Forever" Needs Some Polishing

Ever since A$AP Ferg released his debut album Trap Lord fans have been hungry for more. Ferg emerged from the cloud of A$AP Rocky and the rest of the A$AP Mob with his own unique sound and has been gaining a lot of popularity on his own. Ferg's been on a few songs in the last year, such as Ariana Grande's "Hands On Me", Big K.R.I.T.'s "Lac Lac", and A$AP Mob's "Hella Hoes", among others. So when Ferg announced that he'd be releasing a mixtape entitled Ferg Forever on Black Friday, fans were ecstatic. But sadly, this mixtape is pretty hit-or-miss.

Ferg Forever features verses from Big Sean, YG, MIA, SZA, A$AP Nast, among others. Production is handled by a variety of producers, notably Big K.R.I.T., Clams Casino, Mike Will Made It, Childish Major, and Stelios Phili. The 19 track mixtape is hosted by DJ Drama, who constantly (and obnoxiously) acts as a hype man on the mixtape, usually by introducing a song. Ferg experiments with a variety of flows, production styles, and themes. This experimentation is the downfall of Ferg Forever

Songs on the mixtape range from trap-heavy to 90's R&B influenced to personal to even a reggae song. This inconsistency just sounds awkward, as Ferg tries to also add in his darker, club banger sound that Ferg used heavily in previous projects. The majority of the production is airy and trap heavy, which when coupled with Ferg's flow, sound like cheap and cliche. Ferg's delivery is all over the place. On many of the trappy tracks, Ferg's flows get progressively more and more aggressive until it sounds like he's screaming, such as on "Dope Walk". And on slower songs with a message, Ferg abandons almost all technical skill and sounds like he's just rhythmically talking, like on "Talk It" and "Commitment Issues". 

There are still many good songs on Ferg Forever. "Fergsomnia" featuring Twista, features steller verses from both, and sounds like an anthem. "NV" with fellow A$AP Mob member A$AP Nast sounds like a cool battle rap. "Real Thing" has a very nice, flowing beat and a great hook from SZA. Ferg Forever has a few shining stars, but overall the mixtape needs work.

A$AP Ferg's first album, Trap Lord, was one of the best projects released last year, with a great tone and balance. But Ferg Forever is all over the place, and sounds like a cheap mixtape. Many artists, such as Mac Miller, Big Sean, and Big K.R.I.T., go back to mixtapes to experiment musically, with tremendous results. Unfortunately Ferg Forever is a step back for Ferg. Hopefully, Ferg can firm up and polish his next release much more than this mixtape. 

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