Written by Angelo Gingerelli
Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen” may be be one of the most unorthodox pop hits in recent memory. The song became a summer anthem despite featuring an artist with one functioning eye (a fact he addresses often) from the previously not-on-the-Hip-Hop-map city of Paterson NJ, purposely singing off-key about a drug dealer’s girlfriend. While the song was infectious and played everywhere throughout the spring/summer, many thought Fetty was a surefire one-hit-wonder and would be forgotten about until VH1 made a “We Love The 2010’s” series. However, he immediately proved doubters wrong and released three more Top 10 singles before Labor Day with “679,” “Again,” and “My Way” all charting simultaneously, a first for a rapper’s debut album. [Editor’s Note: Fetty Wap has three Top 10 Singles on the Billboard Hot 100, and four on the Billboard Rap Charts].
Despite a record breaking (four Billboard Top 10 Singles on a debut album) few months that have included high profile collaborations (Drake, Natalie La Rose, etc.), extensive touring, various awards and even appearing onstage with pop princess Taylor Swift, Fetty Wap releases his self-titled debut album just in time for the fall season. While this album will probably not convert many new fans, it is exactly the album his supporters were expecting.
The album features 17 songs (20 on the deluxe edition) and four of them are already big radio hits, which means listeners are already familiar with over a quarter of the project. While this is somewhat common in urban music (leaks, mixtapes, music blogs debuting songs early, etc.) it is a unique situation to listen to a “new” album from a “new” artist when you already know the words to a lot of the songs. While this doesn’t necessarily detract from the project, it does remove a bit of the novelty and excitement normally associated with listening to the typical debut album.
The new songs on the project do not stray far from the style (sing-songy flows and mesmerizing synth beats) of the singles and while this approach has been derided by some purists it is hard to argue that these songs don’t sound like the start of a new sound in Hip-Hop (think Juvinile’s “Ha” or Nelly’s “Country Grammer”). The subject matter also sticks to the script of the singles focusing mainly on drug sales (“Trap Love” “Couple Bands”) and females (“Rock My Chain”) and how the two occasionally intersect (“Again” “Trap Queen”). Cuts not focused on these two subjects are centered on Fetty’s love for his crew and partying with copious amounts of Remy Martin (if he’s not being paid for this endorsement, he definitely should be). While the album is absolutely listenable from beginning to end, the one short coming is its’ length and lack of guest appearances. The only Remy Boy to show up is Monty, who has quality verses on several tracks, but appearances by other affiliates or a few established MC’s (where’s the Drake remix of “My Way”?) would have really filled out the project nicely.
Overall, Fetty Wap’s debut album delivers what the fanbase he has cultivated this year has been expecting and while it may not convert many new fans, the future looks incredibly bright for this New Jersey native.
NOTE: Fetty Wap is not the only rapper representing New Jersey right now. If his album has sparked your interest in Jersey Hip-Hop you should also check out Joe Budden’s All Love Lost (review coming to Pop-Break soon), Innes’ Idle Thoughts and Phresco’s Illdividual as all offer different versions of Hip-Hop in the Garden State and are all absolutely worth a listen.
Best Songs: If you listen to the radio you might already be sick of them.
Perfect For: Driving on the Garden State Parkway with the windows down and feeling some Jersey pride.