Stream Fetty Wap’s Debut Album

26 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

5 best songs that are not ‘Trap Queen’ on Fetty Wap’s debut album.

The Paterson rapper captured the mainstream scene this Spring with his infectious single “Trap Queen,” and since then few artists have matched the 24-year-old’s ubiquity. Earlier this summer, Fetty Wap was in the somewhat uncomfortable position of being really, really popular, based on the merit of one insanely good song. “Trap Queen” was so good — it had the perfect melody, Fetty’s brick-throwing chorus, and that weird slide whistle — it was hard to imagine he could ever top it, or even match it quickly enough to avoid being relegated to the catchy but cast-off island of one-hit wonders.A year ago, few knew the name Fetty Wap. “Hey, what’s up, hello?” was only a sheepish pick-up line and “Trap Queen” was the furthest thing from being in the pop culture lexicon, even though it was out for a month.You’ve surely heard “Trap Queen,” the breakout hit from Fetty Wap, at least a couple of times this year, whether it was at a party, emanating boisterously from a passing car, or on Jimmy Kimmel Live!The New Jersey rapper’s self-titled debut album, also featuring his latest single “My Way,” is now available to stream — the day before its release through NPR’s First Listen.

September 24, 2015; Washington, DC – For the next 24 hours, Fetty Wap’s anticipated new record is available to hear in full at NPR Music as part of the signature First Listen series. The tune’s music video has been viewed 250 million times on YouTube, and earned him endorsements from Kanye West and Taylor Swift, a performance at the MTV Movie Awards and an opening spot on Chris Brown’s U.S. tour. Then the single blew up in December 2014, Kanye West brought Fetty on stage during a performance in February, and the unlikeliest of songs became a strong Song of the Summer contender. And perhaps you’re also familiar with his follow-ups, the also-catchy “My Way” and “679,” which have helped cement him as one of the more exciting new rappers to rise to prominence this year.

A big step up from selling his CDs outside the mall. “I don’t give a goddamn if the album don’t make it nowhere,” he told Billboard. “I don’t care if I don’t sell 100 copies if all my family bought it. His debut album dropped Friday, under 300 Entertainment, and considering the success of its precursors, anticipation has been somewhat frenetic for the one-eyed rapper’s self-titled work. “Trap Queen” is the decided tree trunk, and most all other tracks are barren branches.

By the end of August, Fetty’s first three singles — “Trap Queen,” “679,” and “My Way” — were all in the top 11 of Billboard’s Hot 100, an impressive feat last achieved by the Beatles. His childhood was starkly different: Raised in hard-knock Paterson, the rapper lost an eye as an infant to congenital glaucoma and wore a prosthetic that drew taunts from other kids. “When I was little, I used to get punked,” says the 24-year-old, while in Dallas shooting the video for “My Way,” his second Billboard Hot 100 top 10. In addition to Fetty Wap, NPR Music is offering streams of these unreleased albums: Deafheaven’s New Bermuda, Eagles Of Death Metal’s Zipper Down, Born Ruffians’ RUFF, Wavves’ V, Autre Ne Veut’s Age Of Transparency, and Childbirth’s Women’s Rights. Following his debut hit, “Trap Queen,” he landed three more on Billboard’s Hot Rap Songs, becoming the first act to send his first four entries into the chart’s top 10 simultaneously.

A little while later Peoples was working on something else, nosed around and came across Tony Fadd’s beat for “Trap Queen.” Peoples thought they might have something right there. To ease the deep dive into the massive salvo (17 songs with a run time over an hour), EW picked the five best (non-“Trap Queen”) tracks to check out. Fetty Wap is the best example of a people’s choice pop star out there right now, and his rise to Billboard chart monarch probably wouldn’t have happened a decade ago.

He’s on a North American tour with Chris Brown and recently modeled for his so-called “big bro” Kanye West’s Yeezy collection with Adidas Originals (“Anything he wants, I’ll do,” Fetty says of West.) Even in an age of viral, overnight sensations, Fetty Wap stands apart. He has an endearing smile, blond dread extensions, a tattooed forehead and a missing left eye — he stopped wearing the prosthesis because he “didn’t want to look like anybody else,” he says. While he speaks in a stoner’s mumble, he sings in a throaty, desperate caterwaul, punctuated by a staccato “aye” or elongated “yeaaah.” “Trap Queen” and “My Way” are surprisingly heartfelt, pining love songs (see sidebar below) wrapped in references to selling dope and “head shots if you think you could take my bitch.” “He has an amazing sense of melody,” says Todd Moscowitz, Fetty’s co-manager and the co-founder (with Lyor Cohen and Kevin Liles) of 300 Entertainment, the label Fetty is signed to. “He’s also incredibly vulnerable, and that’s refreshing in a genre that has a lot of bravado.” Born Willie Maxwell, Fetty was raised by a truck-driver father and secretary mother in a neighborhood where “people get shot, do drugs, sell drugs and fight every day,” he says.

Fetty already had a solid fan base when, six months later, the Atlantic-distributed 300 Entertainment got involved and pushed “Trap Queen” to even more ears (they signed Fetty in February of 2015). In 10th grade, he dropped out of Eastside High School, the troubled institute immortalized in 1989 film Lean on Me, and began selling drugs around 12th Avenue and East 22nd Street, a notoriously rugged area. “I felt like I’d rather get money than an education,” he says. “When I did have people to listen to, I didn’t listen to them anyway. All we knew was drug-dealing, getting ran down by the police and ‘How much we gonna smoke today?’ ” Fetty didn’t see music as a viable career until 2013, when he was coaxed into rapping after a friend heard him freestyle.

His trajectory from the streets of Paterson, New Jersey to headlining Summer Jam for thousands of screaming fans started small and slow, but it snowballed in a uniquely modern way. His warble, his facial imperfection, his shambolic manner — in another era, somebody would have dropped a publishing deal in his lap and had him behind closed doors writing for marquee types. Most of the lyrics in this one are too explicit to copy here, but Remy Boyz sound like some bad dudes. “Pay attention to how we move things,” a line from the chorus, seems to be a reference to selling drugs. By Fetty’s count, he printed 100 copies, then 1,000, then 10,000, with his Remy Boyz crew helping peddle them. “Digital gives you an opportunity, but it also gives you an opportunity to get blown over — what’s an unknown artist to a million other artists out there?” he says, explaining the retrograde hand-to-hand approach. “You know who this is coming from. That’s gone on “RGF,” an assertive description of the perfect getaway for his New Jersey crew with an endless supply of Remy Martin. “No Days Off” pulls back on the energy, and is in sonic contrast with the rest of the album.

In a democratic display the likes of which we probably won’t see anytime soon, the people put him on their shoulders, and from there he jumped to radio. There’s no particular logic to the LP’s structure; these 20 songs could all stand alone as one-off singles, and that’s fine, because that’s what Fetty does best. He inked a deal in November, and the label introduced the song to New York radio, where it took off immediately. “It was the fastest-reacting record I can remember seeing in a very long time — maybe ever,” says Moscowitz. Fetty is indecipherable at moments, but his murmurs and blaring production rock the walls on “Let It Bang.” Turns out the title is not only accurate, it’s instructive. Rap is ruled by primogeniture — new rappers are usually knighted by established ones — but Fetty was blowing up on his own. “I think that helped me,” he says. “Nobody can say, ‘If it wasn’t for such-and-such, Fetty Wap wouldn’t have done it.’ I don’t need nobody else.” Befitting his DIY ethos and insular loyalty, Fetty has no guest vocals or production from artists outside his camp — a rarity for a major-label rap set. “Having people on the album, that’s not going to do nothing for me,” he says. “That’s going to help them.

Fetty’s sound would not be so well-received had this nation not been tenderized by Drake, by Future, by Kanye, which is it to say, by T-Pain, by Akon, by Nate Dogg, by The-Dream, by Kid Cudi and Soulja Boy, by Teddy Riley, Roger Zapp and Charlie Wilson. There is room in Fetty’s melodies for him, a black man from Paterson, N.J., to be more than one thing: to be warm and triumphant, insistent and sincere, hungry and daydreaming. It all seems to come together here, with some social consciousness as he pleads to his squeeze and explains that he knows she doesn’t lifestyle, but in his neighborhood this is all he knows. The slow and shy “D.A.M.” talks about love in a deeply infatuated way that will melt your insides and eventually soundtrack your weddings. “Again” lifts large lyrical chunks from “Trap Queen,” but it’s a pleading, helpless rebound song in which Fetty asks desperately for a second chance. There are no more taunts from cruel classmates and, most assuredly, no more desks thrown in response. “I don’t be fighting no more,” he says. “Now people call the cops and try to sue me.”

Through his songs, his socials (where he pines for his kids as often as he promotes club dates) and how he’s responded to success, he’s reconstituted what it means to be hard. Fetty Wap has been a singles machine, but now we have an album, Fetty Wap, marinated in the leitmotifs that he and RGF Productions, his musical collaborators, created, phrases that sound kind, that refer to real people and that have immortalized several seasons of love in the club, the backyard, the park, the beach and the whip, plus prom and homecoming.

It’s the logical product of the internet, Southern bounce, America, the streaming wars, New Jersey, styrofoam, trap, Future, glass, AutoTune, overalls, Lil B, chipmunk electronics, Drake, Corvettes, leather interiors, and white jeans. That abundance is thoughtful, collecting as it does the heat that’s been floating around, the singles with industry muscle behind them, seven songs produced by Peoples, seven featuring Fetty’s right hand, Monty, almost all of which were recorded and redone in Clifton, New Jersey, nowhere expensive.

Apparently a “Trap Queen” doesn’t require much romance. 28. “I don’t even know if I’m living this life right.” This track feels like the antithesis of every other song’s gangster bravado vibe. The rapper is willing to shack up with pretty girls at the drop of a hat, but when a woman comes over and tries to “rock my chain” when she doesn’t know anything about him, that’s taboo?

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