Always Strive And Prosper, is the eagerly anticipated follow up album to Harlem born rapper, A$AP Ferg’s 2013 debut; Trap Lord.
The album opens with ‘Rebirth’, a track forged upon a hard hitting beat and clean production, which discusses the movement of Ferg’s musical development in a more personal direction and makes clear the positive message behind the record. The album continues strongly with further messages of positivity, an example of this can be seen on the track Strive, where the line “So get off your ass and create your life” can act somewhat as a synopsis for what the album is fundamentally about – going out and achieving your goals; striving, and prospering. The change in Ferg’s musical direction remains strong on tracks like ‘Psycho’ and ‘Let it Bang’ – which both feature dark and open lyricism regarding his childhood and his uncle.
It is in the centre of the album that the standard generally drops. With the exception of ‘Yammy Gang, New Level’ to the track ‘Uzi Gang’ feature weak lyricism, characterised by a lack of substance and braggadocio – something somewhat characteristic of Rap, but at this point has generally become rather dull and boring. As well as this, these songs fall into a mildly stagnant rut in terms of their overall repetitive song structure.
‘Beautiful People’ brings the album out of this low point and picks up traction for a strong end to the album. These final few songs reinforce the positive message of motivation and inspiration behind the album. A comment has to made regarding the album closer ‘Grandma’, which is a beautifully open and emotional track which is a biographical depiction of early A$AP.
Overall, Always Strive And Prosper is a success. An album delivering a positive message, and good vibes through clean production and hard hitting beats littered with a dash of mediocrity and braggadocios swagger.