The word "trap" has evolved from slang for a drug-dealing corner to its own genre of Southern hip-hop. In the case of A$AP Ferg's debut album, it refers to neither. A Trap Lord, he says, is someone who hustles, hard, at anything.
Ferg - next emcee in line in A$AP Rocky's A$AP Mob - is Harlem born and bred but definitely displays a Jamaican lilt in his rap voice, and not just on humorous club banger Shabba. That dancehall vibe is fleeting, though. Mostly, Trap Lord's production is unrelenting in its gothic intensity. The woozy party-gone-wrong aesthetic of Rocky is back, but Ferg's sound is distinctly his, and, yes, trappy.
His deep, smooth singing voice serves him well on Future-like rap-singing hybrids, but he lacks any of that artist's levity. This is not a lady-friendly listen either, especially threesome-gone-weird 4:02, and Dump Dump, whose hook is positively unrepeatable. But Ferg has enough lyrical promise and personality to make him a legit trap player, if not, quite yet, a lord.
Top track: Lord feat. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony