A$AP Ferg appeared on an Ariana Grande track this year—specifically, the My Everything cut "Hands On Me"—and even though Mini Mariah's gained a quick reputation for canny A&R moves when it comes to collaborations, this particular pairing still came across as particularly incongruous and weird. Then again, "incongruous and weird" is a lane that Ferg's pretty much owned over the last year and change; last year's Trap Lord remains an idiosyncratic, fascinating document of aggressive, clanging textures rubbing up against barely-built-out cadences and smeared melodic touches. The fact that it eked its way into the top ten of Billboard's Hot 200 upon release is as indicative of the music industry's changing landscape as it is a reflection of how weird and fractured high-visibility hip-hop has become in the 2010s.
Trap Lord was initially intended for release as a mixtape rather than a proper album; Ferg's next project, Ferg Forever, will allegedly be released as a mixtape any day now, and the sampling of cuts we've heard from it so far have found him working in his lane again (check the hook on "Perfume": Ridin' around the city, feelin' like P Diddy). "Talk It" is something else entirely, though, an introspective, disarmingly straightforward Ferg performance that ruminates on the world at large and his own insular world. His musings are paired with a production from Clams Casino that is also strangely out of character for the New Jersey producer, with discordant string plucks and empty, thin voids replacing his usual enveloping, ghostly boom-bap sonic trademark.