Harlem is known as the home of the hustler, with a lineage of trendsetters and fashion icons of all backgrounds and facets claiming the neighborhood as their native habitat. On the hip-hop side of things, Dougie Fresh, Rob Base, Big L, Ma$e, Cam’ron, and the Diplomats are just a few of the rappers and crews that have made major statements, as well as history, and the A$AP Mob are the latest faction from uptown to take a stronghold on the rap game. One member of the mob, A$AP Ferg, has proven himself to be one of the more active artists out of the crew, capitalizing on his opportunities with maximum results and building a reputation as an artists with a high ceiling and the potential to be a pretty big deal.
Initially a fashion guru during his early years, Ferg would eventually transition into music at the behest of A$AP Rocky, both of whom ended up being courted by the late A$AP Yams to become part of his crew, A$AP Mob. While Rocky proved to be the initial breakout star, A$AP Ferg would be tapped as next up and made sure to deliver, with singles like “Work,” as well as his debut album Trap Lord positioning him as one to watch for. Returning in 2016 with his sophomore release, Always Strive and Prosper, Ferg’s buzz skyrocketed off the strength of “New Level,” the rapper’s highest-charting single to date.
Looking to take another step forward in his career, A$AP Ferg drops his latest project, Still Striving, a collection of tracks released during his TrapLord Tuesday campaign, as well as brand new material. Boasting appearances from Meek Mill, Cam’ron, Dave East, Lil Yachty, Nav, Famous Dex, Playboi Carti, Migos, A$AP Rocky, MadeinTYO, Busta Rhymes, French Montana, Rick Ross and Snoop Dogg, Still Striving is a monstrous offering that should only gain Ferg more fanfare.
Having given Still Striving a few spins, here are five songs from the album that stood out.
A$AP Ferg featuring Dave East
A$AP Ferg keeps it Harlem on “Olympian,” dialing in Dave East for one of the mixtape’s more frenetic numbers. Dave East sets the tone with a vicious stanza, barking “I know the trap and I know survival/I already killed your main bitch/Tell her best friend she could die too” in his cocksure manner, while A$AP helms the hook and rounds up the proceedings with an effective verse of his own. Produced by 30 Roc, “Olympian” is aggression at his finest, with Ferg and East running roughshod over the competition, not to mention the beat.
“The Mattress REMIX”
A$AP Ferg featuring A$AP Rocky, Playboi Carti & Famous Dex
One of the more enthralling selections on Still Striving is “The Mattress REMIX,” which finds A$AP Ferg corralling a few of his favorite rap cronies for a revved-up posse cut. Produced by DigitalNas, “The Mattress REMIX” features Famous Dex, Rich The Kid, Playboi Carti and A$AP Rocky all contributing verses over electric guitar riffs and jittery percussion. Although the original version of “The Mattress” has yet to be liberated, a remix with the leaders of Generation Now is a hell of a consolation prize.
“Ride with the mob, alhamdulillah/Check in with me and do your job,” A$AP Ferg raps on “Plain Jane,” taking a page out of the book of Tear Da Club Up Thugs for one of the rare solo songs on Still Striving. Produced by Kirk Knight, “Plain Jane was originally released as part of A$AP Ferg’s ‘TrapLord Tuesdays’ campaign, but its inclusion on this project is more than warranted and makes for one of its best.
A$AP Ferg featuring Lil Yachty
Producer Maaly Raw hooks A$AP Ferg up with a hazy composition with “Aww Yeah,” which pairs A$AP Ferg with ATL connect Lil Yachty. “Diamonds in my Cartier, aw yea/Ferg and Yachty in the Lear, aw yea,” Ferg croons on the hook, displaying a pimpish singing pitch that gives the track additional flavor. Following up on their previous collaboration “Terminator,” Yachty and Fergscore another banger with “Aww Yeah,” a premier offering from the latter’s latest body of work.
“East Coast REMIX”
A$AP Ferg featuring Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross, French Montana, Dave East, A$AP Rocky & Busta Rhymes
Over the course of the past few years, A$AP Ferg has put forth a slew of star-studded remix’s that have piqued the interest of die-hard and casual fans alike. Ferg continues this trend with his “East Coast Remix,” a track from Still Striving that is chock-full of quotable couplets and dexterous flows. Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross, French Montana, Dave East, A$AP Rocky and Busta Rhymes all lay down rhymes on this DJ Khalil banger, which doubles as the pinnacle of what A$AP Ferg’s latest has to offer.
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