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Fetty Wap makes good music 60 percent of the time, all the time

Singer and rapper fails to carry over summer success into debut album

fettywap_review

Album: Fetty Wap
Artist: Fetty Wap
Label: RGF/300/ATLANTIC
Release Date: Sept. 25
Grade: B-

While it feels like Fetty Wap infected our brains with “Trap Queen” centuries ago, it’s still been less than a year since the New Jersey rapper officially released the song. Since then, Fetty Wap hit the rap game and the Billboard charts with an avalanche of hits.

Following “Trap Queen,” Fetty Wap topped the charts and captivated the world with not one, not two, but three more massively popular singles – “My Way,” “679” and “Again,” each of which broke the Billboard Top 10.
Fetty Wap has pretty much concocted a recipe for making hits: his easily recognizable one eye, unique voice, intense trap-style beats and sometimesMonty. His self-titled debut utilizes this recipe to deliver a 64-minute, 20-track project.
Unlike most artists who often open their albums with intros or skits, Fetty Wap begins with what has become his signature, “Trap Queen”.

Why not, right?

The song is his biggest hit – surely he had to include it. Why hide it somewhere in the album when we all know it’s coming.
With no new features or big name rappers in tow, the album’s flow as what feels like an extended version of “Trap Queen.”

This is not to say whether it’s a good or bad thing; it simply goes to show that Fetty Wap has solidified what he wants his sounds to be and it works for him.

However, because there is little experimentation or exploration into other sounds, Fetty’s longevity becomes questionable.

In an industry where sound is ever changing and artists come and go like fads, Fetty is going to have to take more risks in the future.
The potential for new sound is there.

Fetty Wap displays this very little, but surely in songs like “679” where the sound is reminiscent of a more west coast like bass line and boomy tempo.

The closing song of the album “Rewind” takes on a more R&B, or what some like to call “Trap&B”sound. Paired with a piano and smoother sound, “Rewind” sets itself apart from the rest of the album in tone and format.
One of the flaws of Fetty Wap, are the constant use of the ad-libs that make him so distinct.

While they are important to the identity the rapper has created, one can only take so many “Yeahhhhh baby,” “1738s,” “SKWAAs” and “OoooOoooOoo’s” – let alone on every single one of the 20 tracks.

Secondly, while we love Fetty Wap for bringing his “skwaaa” (squad) along for the ride, Monty aka Montaa Buckz was enough for us on “679.”

Lacking the same appeal and charisma that Fetty Wap delivers, Monty’s presence on nine out of the 20 tracks is highly excessive.
On the contrary, Fetty Wap has replay value like no other.

Each track can pass a single destined for the radio. And, given that the album was not composed for the tracks to follow a specific structure, it is not the kind of album you have to sit down and really listen to.

Given the rappers success with singles, the album acts as 16 more attempts at producing a short-lived, chart topping, radio-blasting feature.
Fetty Wap’s lack of big name features also leaves room for artists like Drake – who blessed “My Way” with a verse earlier this year (why isn’t that on the album?) – to remix the hell out of the album.

The production of the album is excellent and songs like “Boomin” and “Trap Luv” certainly have the potential to be the next Fetty Wap projects for artists to jump on.
While Fetty Wap has shown us he’s claimed his own territory sound wise, it’s hard to say if Fetty Wap has painted us a full picture of who he is based on a structure-less album created using such a repetitive, hit-making blueprint.

It’ll be interesting to see where Fetty Wap goes from here: whether he stays or goes, or whether another artist emerges and rises in the ranks as quickly as he did.

The latter seems unlikely for now as Fetty Wap has certainly cemented his spot as hip-hop’s go to hook-man.

Gabriela Ortiz is an arts staff writer. Arts desk can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com


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