In the summer of 2011 Harlem’s A$AP Mob became the centre of the pop culture universe: the Givenchy wearing, jiggy eye of the storm around them. Of the twelve or so members, it was pretty boy A$AP Rocky who rapidly landed major label deals, magazine covers and fashion co-signs, while his comrade A$AP Ferg emerged as the masterly “rappers rapper”. For Ferg-Darold Ferguson Jr. to his loved ones-celebrity wasn’t quite the perfect fit that it looked like for Rocky. Ferguson became depressed and built an armour of bravado that was the “Trap Lord” persona we witnessed muggin’ through hits like his debut Work and 2013’s monster, Shabba.
Ferg was making great music, but it was separate from his true self-it wasn’t an honest extension of his being. After a life changing encounter with a fan who survived cancer, Ferg carved out a new artistic path that would see his second album re-introduce the rawest A$AP Ferg to his fans.
The new Ferg arrives in Always Strive and Prosper-aka ASAP. It’s an album that deals with the uncomfortable realities of celebrity whilst telling intimate tales of his childhood and youth starring family, friends and lovers. The album boasts verses from Missy Elliot, Rick Ross, Future and Chuck D that sit perfectly next to cameos from his mother, grandma and the mother of fallen friend, A$AP Mob founder, A$AP Yams.
After an incredible set at Wireless Festival in London, ASAP Ferg caught up with DJ Semtex for exclusive interview to get into details about the release of his latest album ‘Always Strive & Prosper’, the power of Hip Hop and the politics of race in the US.
Our interview series Icebreaker features artists talking about things—some strange, some amusing, some meaningful—that just might reveal their true selves. This edition features Harlem MC A$AP Ferg, whose new album Always Strive and Prosper is out now.
Who is a fictional character that you relate to?
Probably Jesus. He was trying to do good by his people most of the time, just trying to feed his disciples—his friends, his homies. They drank wine together. They broke bread together. I’m the same way.
Do you believe in ghosts?
Oh, definitely. I believe that this universe is so big—we can’t be the only enzymes walking around. There are one-cell creatures that we can’t see. There got to be ghosts.
If you could be in any band ever, which one would you choose?
Daft Punk. I’d be the third dude with my own helmet. Maybe I’d transform into a different Ferg—maybe Ferg would just disappear and I’d become somebody else.
Every year BET Awards weekend essentially serves as a large family reunion for the Black stars of music, television, movies, and sports. A central part of the 4-day extravaganza is the comedy and entertainment festival known as the BET Experience.
Fans in the Los Angeles area will get to take part in seminars, celebrity appearances, and performances from popular rappers. On June 25, Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Fetty Wap, Tory Lanez, Ty Dolla $ign, and Kodak Black are scheduled to run through their hits at the Staples Center.
The Saturday line-up for the BET Experience will also include a set by A$AP Ferg. This will be the first time the Harlem native shows his skills on his own at the annual L.A. event.
A$AP Rocky loves runway. The first time this writer saw the artist at a show was Moschino menswear in Florence last summer, where he was recording every look with a Super 8 Camera. Today we caught up again at the presentation of J.W.Anderson’s dreamy, Little Prince–ish Spring 2017 mens collection in London. After the show we grabbed a few minutes to talk about his new collaboration with Anderson and what it takes to make him sweat.
A$AP Ferg is making a habit of reaching new levels.
Following the April release of his star-studded sophomore album, Always Strive and Prosper, the Harlem wordsmith has taken the show on the road for his “Level Up Tour” with Tory Lanez. During the 26-date run, the duo will make a stop at the BET Experience at L.A. Live, an annual showcase that’s also slated to feature 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne, Fetty Wap, and more.
In the midst of all of this, the Trap Lord is also working on more videos from A.S.A.P, as well as new material with his A$AP Mob brothers. Plus, the crew is hard at work on the A$AP Yams-inspired Cozy Tapes.
While Ferg continues to “Strive” for greatness, Rap-Up spoke with the A$AP Mob spitter about it all.
Baker interviews ASAP Ferg for HNHH, following the release of Ferg’s album “Always Strive And Prosper.” Ferg talks about working at Ben & Jerry’s, his uncle (“Psycho”), the long-awaited Cozy Boys mixtape and more.
As the tour DJs for reigning rap crew A$AP Mob, the time J.Scott (aka A$AP Snacks) and A$AP Lou, otherwise known as the duo Cozy Boys, spend off-road comes few and far between.
Originally founded by the late Mob patron A$AP Yams, the group’s rising notoriety has expanded into a burgeoning career outside of their Mob brethren, taking the “turn up” to some of the hottest clubs and festivals all over the globe such as Boiler Room, Coachella and Afropunk, to name a few.
We caught up with Cozy Boys in Los Angeles to find out how the two first became affiliated with A$AP Mob, what touring with A$AP Rocky is like and how they pledge to continue the spirit of “cozy” in Yams’ honor.
You may know of Marty Baller as ASAP Ferg’s right hand man when they’re rocking mics around the world or even noticed him the face of Trap Lord. Now, with the release of his first single taken from his upcoming MARTYGRAW project, the Harlem rapper is beginning to establish his name in the industry as a true artist. Marty is also the first artist off A$AP Ferg’s imprint, Trillagain Island Records and as he explains, we can expect a lot of upbeat records that’ll get any party started. “What inspired the title MARTYGRAW was New Orleans. I love to start a party, I’m the party king, so at my shows I want to create that feeling. You know, a lot of people just enjoying themselves. The break down is this, MARTY-G-RAW because I’m so raw when I spit.” Read the full interview below along with Marty Baller’s “Flex” single taken from his upcoming MARTYGRAW project due out in August.
Before A$AP Twelvyy was a rising star in the rap world, he was an aspiring ball player. That ended at age 11 when he hit a game winner at a tournament in Queens and decided he’d conquered basketball and would focus on rap. In the premier episode of our new series Pick Ups, Fernando Perez heads up to the Bronx to meet Twelvyy on the courts at his native Castle Hill Projects to revisit his glory days and talk about how Lil B blessed the Knicks.