The summer of 2015 was good to Fetty Wap, motorcycle accidents aside. In a matter of nine months, his singles “Trap Queen,” “679,” and the remix of “My Way” have played at house parties and in dorms across the nation, his knock-off Atlanta sound and beat production making him an overnight hit. And though some believed his music’s “Harlem Shake” catchiness would fizzle by October, he hasn’t yet seemed to quit, returning to the charts with a self-titled album.
Unlike some of the more acclaimed albums of the past couple years, like Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly” or newcomer J. Cole’s “2014 Forest Hills Drive,” “Fetty Wap” lacks an organized structure, nor does it attempt to have one – that, unfortunately, is not the basis of the album. It’s an album one can’t compare to Lamar’s or J. Cole’s, but should instead be considered alongside those coming out of ATL: Future’s “Dirty Sprite 2” or Young Thug’s “Barter 6,” which Fetty is consciously imitating.
“DS2” is an all around superior product to this album, but “Fetty Wap” has its moments. The songs “How We Do Things” and “Jugg” are the album’s centerpieces. Both songs feature hypnotic hooks and feature Monty, a member of Remy Boyz, who appears in most of the tracks on the album. “How We Do Things,” in particular, is poised to be a hit at college parties like the other singles on the album.
In addition to the new material are some re-releases; the pop-synth “RGF Island” and others like “D.A.M,” and “I’m Straight,” were all periodically released throughout 2015 as promotion for the album. Given the endless shout-outs to Remy Boyz and living large with newfound wealth, it’s clear that lyrical depth isn’t a focus of “RGF Island,” but to listeners looking for a party track almost consciously designed to blow out their subwoofer speakers, the track might just be a godsend. Conversely, neither “D.A.M.” nor “I’m Straight” are particularly memorable in their production or lyrics enough to stand out against the album’s stronger hits.
Surprisingly enough, some of the album’s tracks verge on romantic, expressing love for women and material things, as the music of most of Fetty’s contemporaries tend to do. “Let It Bang” is an ode to one of Fetty’s nameless girlfriends. “Trap Luv” expresses Fetty’s love for the countless racks he made selling coke. Nevertheless, the album’s real hits are few and far between. Even the album’s version of “My Way,” featuring Monty in place of Drake, who featured on the popular remix of the song, lacks Drake’s finesse and swagger.
Granted, “Fetty Wap” is a 20-track album; naturally, there is guaranteed to be a number of throwaway songs. However, at least a few of the album’s weaker tracks make up for their deficiencies with a solid production. Sadly, “Couple Bands” and “For My Team,” featuring Fetty crooning unintelligibly over sleep-inducing slow beats, are not those tracks. Truthfully, they belong on a mixtape, as do several others.
Altogether, “Fetty Wap” is a solid first effort. A number of new singles on the album are sure to maintain his relevance for the next couple months, and the album release will surely expose his popular singles, “Trap Queen,” “My Way,” and “679” to more future fans. If anything, this album proves Fetty Wap is not a one hit wonder in the mold of Bobby Shmurda or O.T. Genasis, but as it stands, Fetty is no Drake or Kendrick. The album’s surefire hits are few, bogged down by otherwise unimpressive or unnecessary fillers. It has saved Fetty’s career, for now, but leaves us wanting more.
Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.