A$AP Ferg is “Still Striving”
by Ben Morris
On August 18, 2017, A$AP Ferg released his fourth project, titled “Still Striving.” The 28 year old rapper out of Harlem, whose real name is Darold D. Brown Ferguson Jr., has been supplying his fans with ample amounts of new music in the past year. In April 2016, he put out his most recent studio album, “Always Strive and Prosper,” which was considered a failure amongst the hip-hop community because it resembled more of pop music. However, thanks to two albums put out with his group, A$AP Mob, he has still remained a popular rapper. Ferg came onto the scene in 2013 with his “Trap Lord” album, but has been on a bit of a downward slide since then. With “Still Striving,” Ferg looks to take his solo career back to the top.
Excitement for the new project began when Ferg began releasing singles from the album. The three songs he featured as singles included: “East Coast” (featuring Remy Ma), “Nasty (Who Dat)” featuring Migos, and “Plain Jane.” “Plain Jane” is a song that uses the same beat and style from the original put out by Three 6 Mafia. In addition, the song serves as one of only three songs on the album that has no features. Although some have criticized Ferg because they do not like the extra artists featured on his songs, Ferg stated back in 2016 that he creates songs he likes, and by adding other artists, the song becomes even more enjoyable.
The mixtape begins with a song titled “Trap and a Dream,” that features Meek Mill and acts as a perfect opener for Ferg. The song begins with what sounds like large bells ringing and then they quickly become infused with the up tempo beat. Because Ferg has the nickname of “Trap Lord,” he uses this song as an opportunity to reflect on his life before he made it in the music industry. Back when he was younger, Ferg used to sell drugs and states that there are both positives and negatives of that lifestyle. It was a scary life that he wanted to escape, but because it was economically beneficial, he felt trapped in that scene. He began to put his lyrical talent to work, and finally made it big with the “Trap Lord” album in 2013. This song shines a light on those still “trapped” and serves as a beacon of hope that they too might one day find their way out.
One of the other more popular songs on this project is called “East Coast Remix” and features Busta Rhymes, A$AP Rocky, Dave East, French Montana, Rick Ross, and Snoop Dogg. This plethora of big names alone is enough to catch the eye of a hip hop fan. Although Ferg also put out “East Coast” as a single, his follow up with this remix is a much bigger hit. The solid, quick beat is the exact same in each song, but lasts much longer in the remix (5:35) than the original (4:20). One part of the song that gets listeners excited is when a member of Ferg’s Group, A$AP Rocky, begins his verse. Rocky talks about this song being his return from retirement, which is great news for his fans. Rocky blew onto the scene in 2013, yet has not put out any music since 2015. Recently, Rocky has been putting much of his time into creating designer clothes. But, after this verse, the rumors about his next potential project have been flowing. Another interesting part of the song comes when Ferg introduces Snoop Dogg for the final verse. Ferg is from Harlem and takes great pride in being from the East Coast. However, he acknowledges the West Coast, Snoop Dogg’s home that he takes great pride in, just before Snoop begins. This kind of collaboration and recognition of different cultures is something listeners love as the work of these two, as well as the other artists featured on the song, come together for “East Coast REMIX” very well.
Despite the great success of the album (peaking at number five on the Billboard top rap albums), Ferg is not going on tour for “Still Striving.” Instead, he is going on tour with the A$AP Mob (A$AP Rocky, Nast, Twelvyy, Ant, TyY, and Ferg) to promote their new album: “Cozy Tapes, Vol. 2: Too Cozy.” The “Too Cozy Tour” stops in Chicago on October 11 and will be held at the UIC Pavilion.