I think it’s interesting for people to know the story behind how you got involved in ASAP, and how that different New York vibe was created, because it is an alternative New York rap story.
asap ferg floor seats – Bio, Facts, Family
A$AP Mob headline The Rave on Thursday, Oct. Ferg: I think New York has had a lot of energy for a long time. You’ve got to think about it. You’ve really got to think about the history of this place and its artists. It creates this vibration that’s real special.
Dap couldn’t be prouder of the ascension of Harlem’s new fashion guard. They’re expanding the path that pioneers like him paved, and hip-hop culture has gone from looking up to fashion labels to one of the most important influences in modern style. Dapper Dan may have been the first to translate the language of fashion into hip-hop vernacular, but the A$AP Mob is expanding the lexicon.
And we did it a different way. We did it our way. We did it, like, the real way, like how we really were. Like, before we was rapping we was really wearing $3000 dollar sneakers by Rick Owens and Margiela and into fashion and going to underground parties in SoHo and things like that. So all we doing is showing the world what we did, now.
The old adage about never judging a book by its cover should also apply to rap album tracklists because, despite its generic packaging, Always Strive was one of the most revealing, vividly written rap records in recent memory. This time, the only role Ferg played was himself, the real Darold Ferguson, a driftless teen who worked his way out of a job at Ben & Jerry’s and into rap’s top tier.
New York City rapper A$AP Ferg partnered with BMX brand Redline to release a limited-edition bike on Monday. ASAP Ferg One time I was on a flight to Australia right. During his downtime from the Nobody Safe Tour, Ferg talked to about his new collection, design tips and upcoming album.
He’s also no stranger to cycling—specifically, the kind of urban freestyle riding where Redline has clout. Ferg’s first bike was a Redline, and he’s often featured the brand in music videos and on social media. Notably, the video for Plain Jane” (viewed more than 40 million times on YouTube ) showcases he and his crew bunnyhopping and popping wheelies.
Rocky’s debut solo album,A$AP, came out on January 13, 2013. Its many guests included Kendrick Lamar , Florence Welch, 2 Chainz, Joey Bada$$, Santigold and A$AP Ferg. The album topped the Billboard 200 chart, and generated four singles: “Goldie,” “Wild for the Night,” “Fashion Killa” and “Fn’ Problems” — that last track being the album’s biggest hit, featuring guest appearances from Drake , 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar. It reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, selling 3 million copies in the U.S. alone.
Ahead of his new album launch later this month, and a sold-out tour with G-Eazy, A$AP Ferg spoke about his style inspiration. A$AP FERG: I mean, I feel like when I go to World Star, when I see a video, I only watch it about once or twice cause it’s not that interesting no more.
In addition, as Nas points out in the 2015 documentary Fresh Dressed, what Dapper Dan offered his customers was a certain unpretentiousness, and like any good tailor, a more accurate understanding of what his clients wanted. Sure, there were people in the hood fortunate enough to be able to step into a Louis Vuitton or Gucci boutique and cop some gear, but, at the time, they were treated much differently than the labels’ typical old-money customer. Not to mention, their selection was limited to just select leather goods and accessories, not full-on ready-to-wear collections, which would only begin to be introduced by labels like Gucci and Louis Vuitton in the early 1990s. In the same documentary, Dap describes what he did as black-inizing” the appeal of these labels, making them look even better on his customers than the brands themselves.
A$AP FERG: No. I think about albums. I think about skits. I think about 15 minutes songs. I think about — I got a song called “Make A Scene” on Trap Lord. And it goes into “F- Out My Face.” “Make A Scene,” the beat is the same exact beat as “F- Out My Face.” But “F- Out My Face” is just reversed. You know what I’m saying? The beat is reversed. So it’s just like one full song. It goes from “Make A Scene,” and then it’s like a little skit in the middle — the beat don’t stop — and then it goes into “F- Out My Face.” So when y’all get a chance, listen to “Make A Scene” and then it’s gon’ just like go into — but I got it to wheres you could listen to either one, but it sounds connected when you just letting ’em, the songs, run through the album.
KELLEY: Yeah, I don’t mean in any way that your success takes away from other people’s success. Harlem rapper ASAP Ferg is coming to San Francisco for a performance at Warfield on Nov. 26. A$AP FERG: Oh, classism, meaning like — it’s just — basically it’s not about racism no more. It’s about money.
MUHAMMAD: So I’m just curious to know — like, for example, with what has been revealed publicly in the experience of Ferguson, the experience of Eric Garner, stuff that we know about. We live it, you know. But it’s now on more of a global platform. And there’s certain things in life that you go, “OK. I can’t do this anymore.” Like, something has to happen. Something different has to happen. It has to be a change. And I’m just curious as to know how are you affected moving into this next album with the constant changes of where things are.
Dapper Dan’s DIY approach to fashion aligns with how Ferg and the A$AP Mob have taken the garments available to them, and put that clothing in a new context. Dap was taking symbols and pieces and translating them for the streets, while A$AP Mob’s legacy is taking runway garments and wearing them in their own way. And it’s exactly why A$AP Rocky has collaborated with labels like Guess and J.W.Anderson and has been the face of a prestigious house like Dior.
The organization also crowned the melody as music history’s fastest song to attain diamond status. This feat is coupled with the single’s chart-breaking run at 19 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100. When the song reached a peak, chatter about which genre it should reside in was heavily debated. The majority claimed it to be a country record while others vehemently vocalized that it’s a hip-hop tune.
Always Strive and Prosper” includes skits throughout the album to create a narrative and sense of authenticity. In Ferg’s performance, it was like being in my car. I was shaking, assaulted by sound, but not feeling any closer a connection to the rapper now before me.
Ferg is a front-row fixture at Paris Fashion Week shows. At Dior ‘s January fall men’s collection with pal Rocky, who fronted a Dior Homme campaign, the two rappers sat with Karl Lagerfeld and Boy George.
A$AP FERG: The one where Will crashed his spaceship and, like, hurt his leg and everything. He launched a clothing and jewelry line at a young age and went to art school. A$AP FERG: It is. I mean, it’s the beginning of it. I hate it every day. I mean, I don’t want to get all, like — I don’t want to stop my stripper-walk-through-club money.
We all know A$AP Ferg is now the big-time platinum-selling artist. I’ve chosen all my singles. I’ve never let the label choose any of my singles, except for one. It was “World Is Mine” with Big Sean. We shot a video to that, but after that, I was like a partner, choosing my stuff. I’ve chosen all my singles my whole career. I have an ear for it, I have an eye for it. I even have an eye for other artists. You know, I’m working with MadeInTYO on his album.
Ferg: I remember one day — I was maybe 9, 10 — my father left me in the car one day to draw. He was in the barbershop hanging with his friends, and I didn’t want to be around all the OGs. I was bored so he gave me paper and a bunch of different color pens and markers and stuff. I just started drawing a dog, then I started really getting focused and into it. When I was done I just thought it was the most magnificent thing ever. That feeling of pride in something that I made was so new and felt so good. I never experienced something like that as a kid. I remember since then I just started drawing, drawing, drawing. I couldn’t stop.
The closer two names are, the greater the probability people will like both artists. A$AP FERG: And every kid that’s not like me to understand the kid that’s like me. A$AP FERG: They had me dancing all day yesterday so I think that’s what it was. I ain’t danced in years like that.
Ferguson sold T-shirts to many music artists, including rapper Jadakiss, though he admitted he messed up Jadakiss’ order one time because he didn’t let the shirts dry properly. Still, the business was generally a success.
MUHAMMAD: And I understand your artistry and I respect it. That goes beyond the music. A$AP FERG: I mean, that just happened to be that. The producers made it like that. But it wasn’t specific. I didn’t ask for more bass or anything like that.
The death of Steven Rodriguez, aka A$AP Yams, at age 26 shocked New York’s hip-hop community. Credited with business acumen and vision, Yams helped guide the careers of Ferg and A$AP Rocky. He developed A$AP Mob, which included more than a dozen rappers, music producers and fashion designers.
A$AP FERG: Well, when I used to take the train a lot, like before, I used to sleep. I used to put my head in my lap all the time. Just so people — like, I’d be sleeping on the train and then by the time I hear my stop, I’d get up and just leave. But sometimes I’ve gotten people stand over me like, “Yo, I was just listening to your song. I was just listening to ‘Kissin’ Pink.’ Yo, you blacked on that song with,” like, whoever I was on the song with. So I mean, it’s cool but it was weird at first because it’s like, “Damn. I can’t take the train no more.” So that’s when I stopped taking the train. But like just recently this week, I, like, been taking the train and it’s been cool.
MUHAMMAD: No, but we haven’t gotten to the popularity or the place of popularity where you can’t move around. So I don’t know what that feels like. A$AP FERG: If we do video. Yeah. A$AP Ferg and A$AP Rocky at the Dior Haute Couture show in January.
As far as the female movement that’s happening now, I just wanted to be a part of it, because I wanted to see the camaraderie for so long. As a kid growing up, I always wanted to see Foxy Brown make songs with Lil’ Kim. I always wanted to see Monica do songs with Brandy more often. Like, “Ladies Night” Lil’ Kim’s 1997 all-female “Not Tonight” remix was amazing, and that’s what I feel is happening now with the “Hot Girl Summer” record with Megan Thee Stallion and Nicki Minaj. You also have Cardi B, Asian Doll and City Girls. It’s a great look, and I just really wanted to be a part of that energy.