[CHAIN HANG LOW] This has not been the greatest year for hip-hop. So many big-event albums have either failed to innovate (Drake's #everythingwasthesame, er, Nothing Was the Same) or were elaborate branding campaigns designed as phone apps (Jay-Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail). Yeezus is a towering achievement and possibly the best record of the year, but it's more of a goth-hop record than a true rap album. So in comes Harlem weirdo A$AP Ferg, the Russell Westbrook to A$AP Rocky's Kevin Durant, to take his turn sitting on the Rap Game Iron Throne (at least among members of the rap Internet). Ferg's debut, Trap Lord, is a deeply strange, moody and paranoid record, part Wu-Tang grime and Bone Thugs bounce, full of odd come-ons and syrup-voiced hooks. Originally released as a mixtape, Trap Lord has a few missteps, but it mostly goes hard: "Shabba," the posse cut "Work" and especially "Hood Pope" rank among the best songs of the year. There's nothing polite about Trap Lord: Listening to a clean stream on Spotify is like trying to piece together meaning from a foreign-language sitcom. But who likes their rap safe and easy?

SEE IT: Branx, 320 SE 2nd Ave., 234-5683. 7 pm Saturday, Nov. 9. $20 advance, $25 day of show. All ages.