Earlier this year, hip-hop bible XXL Magazine featured rappers A$AP Rocky and French Montana on its cover declaring New York rap is back. While the focus of the game has shifted to other parts of the country in the past several years or so, there are some native New York emcees that are doing their part to rep their city. Harlem’s own A$AP Mob, led by the somewhat eccentric A$AP Rocky, have found their niche and a following. The crew dropped their first mixtape Lords Never Worry last summer, which added to the buzz surrounding Rocky’s debut release Long. Live. A$AP at the top of this year. Following the release from his fellow A$AP Mobster, Ferg drops his debut album.

Ready to stand a part from the pack, A$AP Ferg, real name Darold Ferguson Jr., delivers a 13-track offering. Trap Lord opens up with the bouncy and airy “Let It Go,” a beat that has the exact opposite feel of the content of the song, a juxtaposition that is evident throughout the album just as much as it is a part of the man himself. He may be into fashion but don’t let the flashy appearance fool you; A$AP Ferg’s flow is deadly. For those that are unaware of who Ferg is, he makes a formal introduction with “Fergivicious.” Proving that he is indeed vicious when it comes to his craft, the Harlem rapper lets off:

“Are you gangbanging, man? I couldn’t see it/ Like twisting up your fingers in a pair of mittens/ Put ‘em in the water with a bunch of fishes/ Watch a frog leap where his fucking chin is/ Are you Popeye? Eat your fucking spinach/ Bunch of young trap lords and we down for sinning”

Ferg does a great job of enlisting the help of fellow rappers that, like him, have a unique sound or approach to attacking a song. Grabbing A$AP Rocky for “Shabba Ranks,” the official first single off Ferg’s debut, the bass-heavy track lays the perfect foundation for the former high school classmates to trade verbal jabs over. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony snag a guest appearance on “Lord.” Their signature laid-back flow in classic overdrive complements Ferg’s bars over a beat that would live at home on the soundtrack of the film Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. For the remix of “Work,” Fergestein is joined by Trinidad James, ScHoolboy Q and French Montana along with A$AP Rocky  (the original version lives on Lords Never Worry mixtape).

In “Didn’t Want To Do It,” Ferg laments on what he would do if he caught the thieves that robbed his friend. Rapping to a sweet melody sung by singer Madd Moiselle on the hook, A$AP Ferg warns what would happen if he was forced to “Make A Scene.” Over a spaced out synth beat and soft piano keys, Ferg channels his inner KiD CuDi for “Cocaine Castle” while warning those about the dangers of dancing with the white lady.

Waka Flocka Flame brings his usual high-powered energy on “Murda Something” while Ferg is in rare killing form:

“Ain’t afraid to murda something/ Put ‘em in a hearse or something/ I’m thinking you niggas is sweet/ Like a Starburst or something/ Get ‘em a purse or something/ Might get ‘em in church or something/ We heard the deacon speaking/ I’m Donnie McClurkin frontin/ I smell pussy, them niggas hurt your cousin/ All my people say ‘Stomp!’ like I’m Kurt or something/ Put ‘em in the dirt like ‘Work’ or something”

Some say A$AP Ferg is the tightest rapper out of his A$AP Mob crew and with good reason. He switches up flows and adapts to the beat like a chameleon. One minute he comes with a rat-ta-tat-tat force then the next, his voice is smooth as silk. Ferg displays his versatile flow throughout the album. Christening himself the deacon of the streets, Ferg drinks Jesus juice and gets religious in his own way on “Hood Pope:”

“A bunch of hooligans need churching/ I’m the Hood Pope, these my children/ And I’ll be their Donnie McClurkin/ Gold teeth when I’m smirking/ Bunch of little kids running round need nurturing/ Lord knows I ain’t really perfect/ All these clowns run around this circus/ Lord, please what’s my purpose/ Besides fucking these Persians/ Popping these bottles and popping these models/ Please tell me where is the Sherman" 

On “Fuck Out My Face” with Cypress Hill’s B-Real, Onyx and A$ton Matthews, Ferg holds his own with the other veteran heavyweights:

“Another broad and kiss and massage them/ Give them booty shots, might Nicki Minaj them/ Don’t let them get me hard then/ Tell their friend give me jaws like a shark fin/ You’ll play Halle Berry in “Monster’s Ball”/ And I’ll be trap lord Billy Bob Thorton”

Before focusing his attention on rap, Ferg followed in his dead father’s footsteps into the world of fashion and design. Bringing the same creativity and energy to the booth that he once did to designing clothes, Ferg proves that he deserves just as much attention, if not more, than his comrade A$AP Rocky. With Trap Lord, his first official offering out of the gate, Ferg is one set ahead of the mob, exactly where he belongs.