The weeks leading up to the release of the trap lord’s sophomore album Always Strive And Prosper have brought us a consistent stream of gritty bangers. From early entry “New Level” to the Schoolboy Q assisted “Let It Bang” and the Skrillex-produced “Hungry Ham,” the group has successfully established a wide range of aesthetic for listeners to predict for in the future. This week’s follows the last as it goes off to trend in another direction with A$AP Ferg featuring Missy Elliot in “Strive.”
From the opening piano chords, we can tell that this is not your standard Ferg track. By the time the four-on-the-floor dance beat kicks in we double check the artist on Spotify, because that can’t be Ferg singing that upbeat, follow-your-dreams chorus right? Ferg even takes a backseat in the rapping department over minimalist verses, with the most impressive verse going to the featured artist as Missy Elliot proves that she’s still got it.
If there’s one thing to say about this record, it’s that this is a side of Ferg we’ve never seen before. While DJ Mustard shares production credit, it’s clear that Stelios Phili (who previously collaborated with Ferg on several tracks, including the house music inspired “Real Thing”) is in the driver’s seat on this beat. Phili’s fashion show music composition background shines through on “Strive,” for better or worse.
Between this song, the electronic influences on “Hungry Ham,” and the more familiar sound of “Let It Bang,” it has become apparent that Always Strive And Prosper will be a diverse offering. Be sure to check back for our evaluation when the album drops on April 22nd.
As for this track: overall it sounds like Ferg is taking a stab at the mainstream crossover success that has so far eluded him. Does it work? Does Ferg have a club anthem on his hands with “Strive,” or was this experiment a misstep?
Listen below on Spotify and tell us what you think in the comment section.