In terms of hero-worship, no song in 2013 has been as giddily starstruck as A$AP Ferg's menacing earworm "Shabba". In the minimalist chorus, the A$AP crew-member doesn't regale us with tales of the dancehall legend, he gleefully stutters "Sh-Sh-Sh-Shabba Ranks" ad-infinitum. He's not collecting gold chains or teeth purely for the sake of stunting, but to approximate his idol. The unbridled joy worked well enough to coax Mr. Ranks himself into a video appearance, splitting screentime with an affable A$AP Ferg and Rocky.
The "Shabba" (Remix) takes the hero-worship one step further, dialing up the dancehall crooner to drop a bomb of Jamaican patois all over the opening. Chock full of abrupt twists and frantic threats "chop off dem head with me cleaver" attempting to decipher his verse is as advisable as stepping in front of oncoming train. Further down the line, Atlanta's Migos (rap rookie of the year contenders) play double dutch with the booming horror movie score. Quavo's meeting "plugs at a Quiktrip" and partner Takeoff is aiming AK's fully intending to bust some lips. And if the energetic ante wasn't high enough, rap's eternal megaton bomb Busta Rhymes drops by to lay waste to the track. Frequently referred to as the "best-worst rapper" ever by me and my friends, Busta is a human cyclone on the track; twisting from promises of "drop kicks to the jaw" one moment to confessions of Islamic faith the next. At one point he sputters like a motorcycle engine, suggesting he's more machine than man. Then there's Ferg riding sidecar content to keep it "collegiate". Why do any lifting when there's so many heavyweights around?
Ferg’s insanely fun debut-album Trap Lord is out now on RCA, and the “Shabba” remix is up on iTunes.