Sneaker Freaker is presenting A$AP Ferg’s current cross-country Australian odyssey, which kicked off with a rowdy show in Melbourne this past Friday. We were there, and can confirm that taking electronic goods and valuables into the sticky sweatpit of people should be discouraged, as moshers lost their shit when the first jam dropped and never recovered it. They didn’t even seem to be looking for their shit, either, they were focussed on having crazy good times. For anyone who doesn’t believe gymnasiums offer enough skin-to-skin possibilities to produce litres of perspiration in collaboration with your fellow man, or just those folk who love observing raw human zoos devoid of inhibition, we recommend you get the hell along to one of these shows.
A$AP Ferg, AKA the Hood Pope, AKA the Trap Lord, AKA the Dope Lord, AKA Fergenstein, stopped by Sneaker Freaker to touch some shoes and talk to us. Flick through the gallery above to see some of Ferg’s key sneaks, and read below to see how the talking went down…
Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky is blowing open the doors of perception with the forthcoming At. Long. Last. A$AP, an album influenced by his recent psychedelic-drug use as well as the trippy sonics of producer Danger Mouse. Rocky cut more than 40 songs, primarily in London, working with guests like Miguel, Mark Ronson and the former Mos Def, Yasiin Bey. “Trust me, it ain’t no cheesy shit,” Rocky says of his mind-opening new direction. “It’s that fire.”
With his slender frame draped across a chair at a restaurant in Harlem, Rocky speaks in low, concise, stoned sentences. When asked, “Do you get tired doing of these interviews?” he responds with a one-word answer: “Yeah.” He lights up for a moment when discussing his recently-deceased friend A$AP Yams. “He was different,” Rocky says, intending that as high praise. Later in the night he would debut its first official single — the Rod Stewart-sampling “Everyday” — at a Red Bull Music Academy event, but first he talked to Rolling Stone about the record, Baltimore and Yams’ lost LP.
Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images For Moncler Grenoble
A$AP Ferg has been a busy man. From fashion to music to painting his face, very quietly the Harlem native has distinguished himself and his Trap Lord brand as a creative force to be reckoned with. Since his debut album, Fergenstein released his 19-track mixtape Ferg Forever last November, paying homage to his father by reimagining his pop’s artwork as the cover design. He went on tour with YG while also releasing sleek visuals for singles like “Dope Walk” starring model Cara Delevingne. Amidst all of this, Ferg also released his clothing collection with Young & Reckless.
At streetwear store Community 54 in Manhattan last week to promote his new line of gear for his Trap Lord line, Ferg spoke to XXL about his new album, why it’s better than Trap Lord and what’s next for the A$AP Mob.
Part 2 of CRWN with A$AP Rocky and Elliott Wilson finds the Harlem MC talking about the importance of his hometown (“fashion and culture, we’re the mecca of it”), his affinity with high fashion, and his opinion on Kanye West. “Him and Pharrell paved the way for artists like myself. I would be full of shit if I didn’t tell you that when I was 16, I was inspired by Kanye West.”
Rocky also talked about getting permission to be named Pretty Flacko Lord Jodye II from the original Pretty Flacko Mos Def, hating on Lil B before respecting the Based God, and being on psychedelics when Pusha T played him some crazy new music.
But the heaviest part of the entire interview came at the very end, when fellow Mob members A$AP Nast and A$Ap Twelvyy joined Rocky onstage as they talked about their fallen brother, A$AP Yams, who passed away in January. “[A$AP Mob] always been close, so I’m not gon’ say him passing brought us closer together,” said Rocky, “but what I will say is we appreciate each other way more ’cause we know tomorrow ain’t promised to nobody.”
Check out the second half of CRWN with A$AP Rocky and Elliott Wilson above, and if you missed part one, check it out right here.
The latest installment of CRWN is finally here, and it stars none other than A$AP Rocky, one of the hottest rappers in hip-hop right now. His sophomore album At.Long.Last.A$AP is right around the corner, and in part 1 of CRWN he talks about being inspired by Kendrick Lamar, Danny Brown, Earl Sweatshirt, and Joey Bada$$.
Rocky also discussed his love for psychedelics, working with Dangermouse and Juicy J, his unreleased instrumental album, and how he feels about rap today.
“Rap is the new wrestling,” said the Harlem rapper. “Make up a weird ass name, just come out saying some outlandish crazy dumb shit, and everybody’s gonna pay attention.”
Watch part 1 of CRWN with A$AP Rocky above, and stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow, only on WatchLOUD.
Four years is a long time in the Internet age. Just think: Four years ago you probably didn’t know what Uber was, had never used SnapChat, and you probably had never heard of a rapper named A$AP Rocky and his Harlem based crew, the A$AP Mob. In 2011, A$AP Rocky launched the A$AP movement after releasing an instant classic video called “Purple Swag.”
The video blew us away. Just when it was starting to feel like New York couldn’t produce new rap stars, a shirtless Rocky came strutting down the block on that bike sporting Jeremy Scott adidas with the charisma of 50 Cent, the sound of Houston, and a “alternative but traditional” aesthetic masterminded by the late, great A$AP Yams. Four years later and Rocky is a full blown star who recently got his third Complex cover and has his highly anticipated sophomore album slated for later this year. That’s why this song was ripe for a Magnum Opus treatment.
None of what Rocky—and the rest of the Mob—has accomplished these past few years would have been possible if it wasn’t for “Purple Swag.” So we got with the main members of the Mob including Rocky, A$AP Ferg, A$AP Nast, and A$AP Bari to talk about how the Mob came together and how Rocky crafted the song. Of course, we all also took time out to talk about the genius of A$AP Yams, who tragically passed away earlier this year, and how he helped the song blow up. As great as the song is, it certainly wouldn’t have had the same impact without it’s corresponding video. So we also spoke with director Jason Ano as well as everybody’s favorite white girl with gold grills, Anna Trill. And finally, with all the debate that the song sparked about whether or not New York rappers should be using a Southern sound, we just had to speak with the Trill OG himself, Bun B about why he’s cool with Rocky’s H-Town influence.
In 2011, Harlem’s A$AP Rocky emerged at the forefront of a resurgent New York rap underground. Connecting the dots between a wide spectrum of ‘90s rap and the fashion-savvy hip hop vanguard, Rocky quickly ascended to global stardom. Together with his A$AP Mob team, the young wordsmith gave a new face to Harlem hip hop – and a whole generation a new style to “Get Lit” to.
Since the release of his major label debut, Long.Live.A$AP, Rakim Mayers has kept a close lid on his artistic development – until now. In this public lecture at London’s majestic St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, as part of the RBMA UK Tour, the rapper gave a rare insight into his state of mind. Sitting down with journalist Hattie Collins on the Red Bull Studios London couch where he wrote much of his new album, Lord Flacko seemed delighted to hold court.
In the extensive interview, Rocky opened up about his relationship with London, his reverence for artists ranging from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony to The Castaways, meeting his recently deceased friend and Mob-partner A$AP Yams, and what can be expected of his upcoming record, At.Long.Last.A$AP.
Watch the lecture video above, which also includes a special appearance by Yasiin Bey and the first play of album cut “M’$”, and find out more about A$AP Rocky’s upcoming public lecture in Harlem for Red Bull Music Academy Festival New York here: http://nyc.redbullmusicacademy.com/conversation-with-asap-rocky