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A$AP Ferg, ‘Trap Lord’

A$AP Ferg, part of New York’s A$AP Mob, has made a debut more accomplished and compelling than his highly hyped and more popular peer, A$AP Rocky. Ferg reaches beyond the boroughs and borrows from various regional musical and linguistic influences to create a set of songs laced with introspection, menace, and smartly conceived verses. He inventively alternates his flow from languidly ominous to highly rhythmic to sing-song (sometimes even within one song). Despite the record’s title this is not beholden to trap music. Instead the production is expansive and evocative with overlapping effects, echoing vocals, and fresh beats. Although he’s a member of the next generation of MCs, Ferg clearly has a sense of hip-hop history. Guests Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (the excellent “Lord”), Onyx, and B-Real offer intricately integrated rhymes instead of merely making ostentatious cameos. Last year’s breakout track, the undeniable “Work,” only appears as a remix. Obviously Ferg has already moved on, so the majority of the disc is shadowed by a foreboding tension as exemplified by the ferocious “Dump Dump.” (Out Tuesday) Ken Capobianco


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