This Ferg tape, his first project since last year's Trap Lord, makes me want to drink Henny and break something, and if that's not your first impulse when you press play, maybe this isn't for you. Ferg Forever starts off furiously, exactly like you'd expect from A$AP's second star. "Perfume" speaks of ménage à trois' in tellys and running the streets feeling like P. Diddy. It's a fast-paced trap beat mixed with Harlem stunt raps. With his unrelenting energy and many flows, Ferg is etching out a mold of his own, and he’s comfortable pushing the envelope on this new tape.
Aside from the signature Ferg cuts in the vein of "Shabba," this project contains some of his most personal joints to date. “Uncle” is about an uncle Ferg used to look up to, and there are some really honest, hurtful things said on that track. He raps about how his uncle stole his chain and bike when Ferg was just a kid, and so the song feels therapeutic, like he's been waiting to get this off his chest. “Thug Cry” is a flip of a Tinashe track produced by Mike WiLL Made It. It’s another deep one that speaks from a perspective of a thug dealing with a love lost because of his actions. It’s always easier to root for an artist when they’re willing to bare their soul, and Ferg Forever benefits from a number of songs that show personal growth.
But you're also here for Fergenstein’s energy—that’s his bread and butter. Songs like “Jolly,” which goes back to Ferg’s Trinidad roots, and “Weaves” hit you in the head like back-to-back shots of Appleton rum. The same is true of “Doe-Active” and “Dope Walk.” Ferg gave us an exclusive look of the "Dope Walk" dance (a couple days before the walk off with Cara Delevingne), and you know you want to give it a try. (When's your holiday party?) "Doe-Active" was the first track he let loose—do not play it in the morning or else you'll show up to work and disrespect your boss. Which will result in you not having any hundred-dollar bills. Those tracks should have strip clubs lit until he decides to let the next proper album go. Both songs have sweltering beats that'll break necks and sweat weaves.
It’s always easier to root for an artist when they’re willing to bare their soul.
Ferg pulls some impressive features here: Twista and MIA make some memorable appearances on “Fergsomnia” and “Reloaded,” respectively. Big Sean, SZA, A$AP Nast, and Marty Baller come through, too. But Ferg Forever is the real coming out party for Crystal Caines. She laced her hooks, features, and even has some production credits. Keep an eye on her.
Ultimately, Ferg Forever does what Ferg needs it to do: keep the Mob relevant until they unleash the next Rocky album. The running time—19 songs, good lord—is a bit much, but it demonstrates time well spent; Ferg is maturing as an artist. This tape proves that Trap Lord wasn’t a fluke; A$AP Ferg is a capable artist and can no longer be seen as Rocky’s sidekick. There are more high-energy tracks on here than low ones, making it a tape best for the gym and/or turn-up function. Easy on the Henny, though.
Angel Diaz is a staff writer for Complex Media. Follow him @ADiaz456.