Hailing from Patterson, NJ, Trap&B artist Willie Maxwell, more famously known by his stage name Fetty Wap, released his self-titled debut studio album Fetty Wap on Friday. His first single “Trap Queen” dropped in early 2014, but didn’t become popular until nearly three months after its music video was uploaded to YouTube in November 2014. This song led to his meteoric rise and following three singles, for a total of four songs that hit top 33 in Billboard’s Hot 100 chart; this hasn’t happened since a certain English rock band hit America in the 1960s.
Reviewing Wap’s debut album without delving into his background would leave out key parts of its allure. After “Trap Queen,” Wap released his second single “679” and its accompanying music video on WorldStarHipHop.com before the 2015 summer season in early May. With its upbeat pace, catchy synth riff and Wap’s powerful hook, “679” instantly found itself on my party playlists and peaking at number 7 on Billboard’s Hot 100. On July 17, 2015, the “Trap King” officially released his third single, “My Way,” featuring Montana “Monty” Buckz which also peaked at number 7. Originally uploaded to Soundcloud in December 2014, “My Way” was remixed by Drake in June 2015, receiving over 100 million hits on YouTube, pushing the RemyBoyz headliner once again into the spotlight. Just like “679,” the song features Wap’s catchy hook over a bass-dominated beat but also includes a distinct piano-sounding riff. Drake naturally kills it in his part of the song, endowing the track with his smooth voice and clever lines. Wap’s fourth single “Again” is more of a romantic song, trying to get his ex-girlfriend back. We know that he’s talking about her because he reuses two lines from his first single “Trap Queen.” Starting off slow and with a classic “yah, baby,” “Again” employs the artist’s familiar bass backing and vocal harmonies.
In his more than one year of spectacular popularity, Wap hadn’t even put out his own album. He relied on his fans and internet presence on Soundcloud, YouTube, and WorldStar to bring him to concerts, such as Billboard’s Hot 100 Music Festival and a huge record label, Atlantic Records. Also supporting the Hip Hop and trap music community, Wap has been featured in 15 songs, lending his easily adaptable voice to other artists such as Lil Dicky, DJ Khaled, and Baauer. Though he has involved himself with these famous artists, he has chosen to only feature Monty and M80 on his debut album.
Fetty Wap does not feature Drake’s remix of “My Way” and removed P. Dice’s verse from “679.” Wap’s thinking in only including small name artists and producers in his first album is to produce an album that is truly his. This pays homage to his humble beginnings and “Trap Queen,” which put his hometown, Patterson, NJ on the map. Listeners can get a true feel for the Trap King’s slurred, sing-song lyrics and signature “yah, baby.”
Wap, in his own way, represents the American dream. Rising to stardom in almost a year after starting to rap in 2013, Wap came from humble beginnings and no music experience. He doesn’t explicitly rap, per se, but instead uses a sing-song, syncopated style that is truly his. “Trap Queen” has elements of hip-hop, voice, and R&B that are similar to artists Rich Homie Quan and ILOVEMAKONNEN, but also includes trap, with its distinctive drop during the catchy hook.
Personally, I listened to the entire album on my couch with big headphones and my eyes closed and just kind of lost myself. The album’s deep bass beats combined with Wap’s smooth cadence give a relaxed feel, save for “679” and “Jugg.” I think that in general, Fetty Wap gives a real description of his unique musical style and independent beginnings. Songs that I recommend listening to other than his singles are “RGF Island,” “D.A.M.,” and “No Days Off.” These stand out to me from the rest of the album. I can’t wait to see what the Trap King” has in store next.