Always Strive and Prosper

Always Strive and Prosper

by A$AP Ferg

CD

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Overview

If A$AP Rocky seemed the young, punkish member of the A$AP Mob, A$AP Ferg always seemed the elder, referencing veteran icons like Shabba Ranks on his singles and bellowing like an East Coast, fashion week-friendly version of UGK's Bun B. Not only that, his hit single with Future, "New Level," landed not only after Drake had already recorded a whole album with Atlanta's version of "what's next," but also after Taylor Swift had made a consumer electronics television commercial with their hit "Jumpman." Then this sophomore LP arrived as a complicated, winding, and weaving effort that's identifiably post-Kendrick Lamar, and it seems the man prefers to chase rather than lead. Still, Always Strive and Prosper is so stimulating and so eclectic that Ferg could be nominated as hip-hop's truest maverick in the already free and freaky year of 2016. Here's the man who walks like a brute but talks like an edgy art magazine editor and acts like an enigma cloaked in a riddle and wrapped in a trap beat as the Skrillex-helmed "Hungry Ham" hits the speaker, with the expected bass drops and unexpected throwback, double-dutch style. Missy Elliott fits perfectly into the pumpin', house music-driven "Strive" because Ferg nails the underground club music style of delivering empowering lyrics ("And you're missin' opportunities/I know you're rich in opportunities") then slick silliness drifts into frightening mind games as "Psycho" tells the story of an Uncle that is just what the song says. The album is nothing if not diverse, as "Let It Bang," with Schoolboy Q, and "New Level" are radio-worthy winners, while the old-school "Yammy Gang" and the new-school "Uzi Gang" cover the streets. The lush and positive "Beautiful People" with Chuck D sounds as if Public Enemy teamed with Digable Planets, and if the sweet nothings of "I Love You" are more Chris Brown than Ferg, the trap lord still does fine on the bedroom number, letting "I just wanna hold ya/Make ya say 'Uhh' like a No Limit soldier" eclipse the lesser lyrics like "You've been doin' the squats/Your ass is as tight as a glove." The common criticism that Ferg is great for a feature and stretched on solo tracks and solo LPs is still up for debate, and plenty of arguments against it are included here. If he is that limited an MC, Always Strive and Prosper is a diverse, free, ambitious, sonically stimulating, often infectious, and surprisingly big example of how to get away with it on a major level. Luckily, Ferg ain't that rapper, and with this solid album, he ain't the A$AP Mob's second banana anymore, either. Cutting-edge production from Clams Casino, Lex Luger, Cashmere Cat, and DJ Mustard help him get the job done.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/22/2016
Label: Rca
UPC: 0888430987722
catalogNumber: 309877
Rank: 67096

Album Credits

Performance Credits

A$AP Ferg   Primary Artist
Ajanee Hambrick   Vocals
Daniel Seeff   Bass,Drums,Saxophone
Sam Barsh   Trumpet,Keyboards
James Alsanders   Drums
Malik Spence   Vocals
Danny Keyz   Strings,Keyboards
Jeff Gitelman   Guitar
Nikki Grier   Background Vocals
Lauren Pardini   Background Vocals
Sid Sriram   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Marvin Gaye   Composer
Kevin McCord   Composer
Jamal Phillips   Composer
Ernest Wilson   Composer
Carlton Ridenhour   Composer
Missy Elliott   Composer
Stargate   Producer
Bryan Leach   Executive Producer
DJ Khalil   Producer
Daniel Seeff   Composer
Sam Barsh   Composer
Chris Brown   Composer
Geno Sims   Executive Producer
Sonny Moore   Composer
Mikkel Storleer Eriksen   Composer,Engineer,Instrumentation
Danny D   Executive Producer
John Terrell   Engineer
Tor Erik Hermansen   Composer
Tyrone Griffin   Composer
Lido   Programming,Producer,Instrumentation
Jeff Gitelman   Composer
Skrillex   Producer
William Roberts   Composer
Lex Luger   Producer
Dijon McFarlane   Composer,Producer
Jordan Lewis   Composer,Instrumentation
Clams Casino   Producer
Sean Anderson   Composer
Carlton Mays   Composer
Sid Sriram   Composer
Michael Volpe   Composer
Nayvadius Wilburn   Composer
Daniel Tannenbaum   Composer
Peder Losnegård   Composer
TM88   Producer
Rakim Mayers   Composer
Hagler   Producer
A$AP Ferg   Executive Producer
Cashmere Cat   Programming,Producer,Instrumentation
Lexus Lewis   Composer
Jeff Washington   Composer
Darold Brown   Composer
Crystal Caines   Composer
Chris Basham   Composer
Tashfiqur Patwary   Composer
Magnus August Höiberg   Composer
Tairiq Devega   Composer
Quincey Hanley   Composer
Khalil Abdul-Rahman   Composer
Stelios Phili   Composer,Producer
Todd Bee   Producer,Engineer
Bryan Simmons   Composer

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