Always Strive and Prosper Image
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 85 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: The second full-length studio release for the rapper features guest appearances from such artists as A$AP Mob, Big Sean, Chris Brown, Chuck D, Missy Elliott, Future, ScHoolboy Q, and Ty Dolla $ign.
Buy Now
Buy on
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Apr 25, 2016
    83
    Without succumbing to false sentimentality or restricting himself with the overly linear narrative structure of many of rap’s recent prestige albums, Ferg has crafted a tender tribute to the people he loves most. It’s not often that albums that bang this hard are this moving.
  2. Apr 25, 2016
    80
    Ferg’s pungent wordplay powers this splendidly diverse and dynamic second album.
  3. Apr 29, 2016
    80
    That title is the rapper’s motto for the project and he accomplishes both. Not only does he strive to become a better, more diverse artist, he definitely prospers in more ways than one as he continues to make a name for himself as one of New York’s biggest talents.
  4. Apr 26, 2016
    73
    Production-value is high, with Ferg enlisting top-tier beatmakers like the aforementioned DJ Khalil but also No I.D., DJ Mustard, and even Skrillex. But the beats take a backseat to the lyrics. The overall sound remains intact, but he’s even more invested in what he’s saying.
  5. Apr 26, 2016
    70
    With Always Strive and Prosper, we now know about Ferg’s family, his faith, his ambitions, and his past, and his story is more beautiful that anyone ever expected.
  6. Apr 22, 2016
    70
    The follow-up to his acclaimed 2013 debut Trap Lord sees the Harlem rapper open up with more honesty, humor and charm.
  7. Apr 25, 2016
    50
    Always Strive and Prosper doesn’t play to Ferg’s strengths. It feels more like album made by a big label committee, carving up a talented rapper piece by piece and stripping away everything that makes him special.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. Apr 25, 2016
    10
    In 'Always Strive and Prosper', Ferg performs as an experimental artist, this project is almost everywhere. While having some Trap InfluencedIn 'Always Strive and Prosper', Ferg performs as an experimental artist, this project is almost everywhere. While having some Trap Influenced bangers involved, few songs i consider ''real hip-hop'', And overall great features in here. While knowing Skrillex would do his job on production, he did, Clams Casino jumped in, No I.D, AND! as well as Lex Luger! See, Overall this project did not disappoint at all, much more very glad he experimented different vibes in this Sophomore Project. Lastly, VERY GLAD LIL UZI VERT WAS FEATURED IN THIS, HE WILL MAKE IT BIG 2016. UZI GOT ALL THE TALENT. Expand
  2. Apr 25, 2016
    10
    After Trap Lord (Which I loved) I was waiting on something that had a similar vibe but I could say that I was happily surprised Ferg showedAfter Trap Lord (Which I loved) I was waiting on something that had a similar vibe but I could say that I was happily surprised Ferg showed his versatility but still kept it cohesive If you were still expecting the same old same old you'll bound to get disapointed by this album but have if you an open mind, I'm sure you'll find something to like. Expand
  3. Apr 25, 2016
    9
    The album is smooth and easy to listen to. There are no "bangers" but the album flows very nice and you can tell Ferg put all he had into thisThe album is smooth and easy to listen to. There are no "bangers" but the album flows very nice and you can tell Ferg put all he had into this album. He took a risk in experimenting with new techniques, but it all worked out well Expand
  4. Apr 22, 2016
    8
    This album has loads of character. It's occasionally experimental, not at all lacking in the banger department, there's just not to much toThis album has loads of character. It's occasionally experimental, not at all lacking in the banger department, there's just not to much to complain about here. I'm feeling a decent 8 on this. Tran- Expand
  5. Apr 23, 2016
    8
    There is a lot to enjoy on this album. With minimum "trendy" tracks, most of this album feels authentic and genuine. I love variety like this.There is a lot to enjoy on this album. With minimum "trendy" tracks, most of this album feels authentic and genuine. I love variety like this.

    Favorites: Beautiful People, Psycho, Grandma
    Expand
  6. Apr 24, 2016
    7
    In preparation for Always Strive and Prosper (aka ASAP) I listened to Ferg's debut album Trap Lord and honestly I didn't get much out of thatIn preparation for Always Strive and Prosper (aka ASAP) I listened to Ferg's debut album Trap Lord and honestly I didn't get much out of that album aside from a few decent cuts, tracks like Work REMIX and Fergivicious reminded me of the worst parts of modern hip hop and made me realize that A$AP Ferg isn't for me. That being said, some of the singles for ASAP did grow on me, enough so that I decided to at least give this record a chance, was it enjoyable?

    Well to my surprise, ASAP improves most of the issues I had with Trap Lord, from the production to the lyrics to even A$AP Ferg himself. I won't call this album great, but it is an improvement and an album that makes me intrigued to listen to more material in the future from Ferg, even if I still have issues with him.

    Let's start off with the most improved area all across this album, and that would be the instrumentals, Ferg managed to upgrade his producers and get some big name talent on board, with Clams Casino, No I.D, Cashmere Cat, Stargate, and even DJ Mustard and Skrillex. Ferg manages to get some more creative songs on here showing off his various styles for hip hop. From the opening track Rebirth with the horror style beat that Ferg actually rides pretty well, to the insanely trap flavored bangers Hungry Ham and Let it Bang both sounding great, to even an attempt at 90's house with Strive that works a lot better than it really should, to the more experimental Yammy Gang where Cashmere Cat manages to do minimal trap better than most hip hip producers. Even some of the more downbeat songs like Let You Go and Beautiful People manage to bring out the best in Ferg, which we'll discuss more with the lyrics. That being said, there are still songs where Ferg still wants to copy instrumentals that everyone else already does and don't do it all that well, New Level may have some power with the horns but nothing all that memorable comes out of it on an instrumental level, the bright synths on Swipe Life get irritating in a hurry, and Uzi Gang sounds like a bad leftover from Trap Lord that honestly should've stayed in Trap Lord. The most disappointing of instrumentals comes with World is Mine, as No I.D creates a beat so hollow and bland that I honestly get bored with it quickly.

    Now we get to A$AP Ferg himself, now I still don't think he's a great lyrical rapper but he is improving here and has more of a presence here than he did on Trap Lord. His flows are more on point, his rhymes connect more often, and he shows off his collection of styles that he delivers all over this album. From his more slowed down and personal bars on Let You Go and Beautiful People, to some insane lines he delivers on Hungry Ham and especially on Let it Bang. And while I don't think Ferg is a good singer at all as shown on Strive, I honestly prefer it over his poor Kid Cudi attempt on World is Mine. As far as the guest stars go, Rick Ross manages to put together a solid verse on Swipe Life as the only redeeming thing on that track, Missy Elliot's brief verse on Strive was a decent one at least, but it's Schoolboy Q who manages to outshine everyone as his wild and chaotic verse on Let it Bang was pretty damn awesome. However, the rest of the guests are pretty mediocre all around, Future nearly ruins New Level with his weak verse, A$AP Mob barely contributes anything to Yammy Gang a song in dedication to A$AP Yams, Chris Brown's verse on I Love You was corny as hell which is also the same thing I can say for Lil Uzi Vert on Uzi Gang, and Big Sean's hook and verse on World is Mine is pretty embarrassing.

    Finally we have the lyrics, and unlike Trap Lord ASAP seems to be focused more on Ferg's struggle out of the hood, with the opening track Rebirth declaring Ferg as the Hood Pope. Thankfully, the tracks on here feel more personal and introspective, with the biggest examples being Let You Go and Hungry Ham. As both songs have Ferg share his beginnings as a rapper and the backlash he got from his loved ones, I honestly got more out of that than off of Trap Lord all together. Of course, Ferg does share his success out of being a rapper and really doesn't do much that makes him standout. While New Level is the more tolerable song out of the brag raps on this album, Swipe Life and World is Mine offer luxury rap that don't even attempt to come across as interesting.

    So in the end, I was surprised by ASAP from A$AP Ferg coming across as more of a finished project with creativity and flow all around. While it has it's flaws and moments that are pretty damn bad, I got a lot more out of this and enjoyed it the more I've listened to it. Which is why I give ASAP a 7 out of 10 and a recommendation for fans and newcomers, although I will say the album might not please all fans, most notably the hardcore fans, but at least give it a listen you might get something out of it.

    Best Songs: Let You Go, Hungry Ham, Let It Bang, Rebirth, Strive, Beautiful People
    Worst Songs: World is Mine, Uzi Gang
    Expand
  7. May 23, 2017
    3
    I was very disappointed in this album. I was somewhat excited going into it but I don't even think there was one song worth keeping. I expectI was very disappointed in this album. I was somewhat excited going into it but I don't even think there was one song worth keeping. I expect better from you Ferg. Expand

See all 13 User Reviews