Written By: Brandon Basile
Keepin’ On, Keepin’ On… Yahhh
Originality: (3 / 5) Vocals/Flow: (5 / 5) Lyrics: (4 / 5) Production: (4 / 5) Average: (4 / 5)
You’re always only as cool as the four people you kick it with the most. You’re only as cool as your crew. For most of the rap industry’s early phenomena one artist will get primary fame leaving the other members of the crew to forever struggle with receiving the same level of acclaim let alone pay-stubs. I’m not one to speak on the money of these artists, though A$AP Ferg did recently ink a deal with Adidas, but few rap groups have kept up their consistency like the A$AP Mob. A$AP Ferg’s Still Striving comes in the same year as the label’s second A$AP Mob’s Cozy Tapes, and Ferg’s label mate A$AP Twelvyy’s debut major release. This is Ferg’s third album release following his freshman LP Trap Lord and sophomore Always Strive And Prosper. The only other labels to have as much group success among modern rap cliques would be Kendrick Lamar and Top Dawg Ent. and Drake’s OVO label mates. Still Striving is full of features from some of the most popular of rap’s artists none of which are strangers to Ferg. So what does Ferg bring to the table himself?
Rapp-p muthafucka! But let us not forget the ad-libs. Ferg is one the best rappers for delivering a high energy verse layered with a lot of turnt ad-libs, but still coherent lyrics and decent punchlines. You’re not going to sleep through an A$AP Ferg track. He makes sure of that. Ferg delivers solid turnt up raps and songs, but once you’re in the club what else is there to do? Keep on rapping! What you mean? Still Striving is celebratory as Ferg sings about the wonderful memories of the “Mattress”. “Rubber Band Man”, which features Diplomat Records and Harlem’s own Cam’Ron, feels like Ferg is finally having a chance to rap with one of the heros that he looked up to.
Resonant from the album cover of a black male tying a du-rag, the album is a moment to look back on one’s successes just to lace up and go back to hit it again. It is apparent that Ferg is here for the rap and the trap. He knows that he’s on the way to the top and keeps on giving it back. His aggression is apparent on songs like the Dave East assisted “Olympians” and his dedication to the art shown on the closer track “Tango” as he reflects on the craft around a chorus that sings “Sometimes I gotta tango around these words, if I don’t speak it might get worse, Dancehall around these words, if I don’t speak it might get worse.”
Ferg is definitely putting in work and using his opportunities to make his rap dreams come true as he fills tracks with features from Dave East, Busta Rhymes, French Montana, and Snoop Dogg on the “East Coast Remix”. Why is Snoop Dogg on a song called “East Coast”, which is such an aberration to have him there that it requires them to put in clips of Snoop saying “Long Beach” just to build authenticity, when they could have went with someone else from the East Coast? Why not? Ya know? ……No…I don’t either, but if Ferg wants to have Snoop on a song directed at the east coast then surely he can do whatever he wants.
A$AP Ferg is here to stay. Yes, we know you haters have been hoping he would disappear, but surprise surprise. Ferg is Still Striving to give you the heat as he’s running to the money now. He’s up and on the way up. It would be best for you to throw these tracks in your favorite turnt up playlist so that you too can dance with him on the way to the top. ‘Cuz we over here gettin’ lit! Yah! Yah! Oo! Ooo!!