A$AP Ferg, the self-appointed Hood Pope – a man confident enough to put out Fergivicious without fear of it sounding like a Fergie Black Eyed Peas comeback track – spent much of last year criss-crossing the States on his Turnt x Burnt tour. We first caught up with him and the rest of the A$AP Mob (an album from the whole crew is due later this year) at his biggest hometown gig yet in NYC in December where the posse’s first superstar, that pretty mofo A$AP Rocky, shouted out: “I’m so proud of my brother Ferg!” The gig showcased Ferg’s dizzying mix of voices, sounds and ideas: gruff and smooth; hard ‘90s beats and woozy present-day trap; aggressive lyrics and comforting paternal musings (“This is for all those kids who want to do something for themselves”). The overall mood was deservedly joyous – a bunch of Harlem kids who’ve made it big and are celebrating as they takeover their city and beyond. i-D caught up with Ferg backstage at the gig, then again at the Polo Grounds studios in the Bronx. Here’s what the Trap Lord had to say.
The ascent of the A$AP Mob is one of the most authentic New York stories of today. The thought that a group of friends in Harlem with similar styles and tastes could rapidly become pre-eminent tastemakers in music and fashion used to take decades, but thanks to the advent of social media platforms like Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram—that time frame’s been reduced to mere months. The collective exudes a decidedly unique New York City energy that industry insiders and brands want to tap into, which is why it’s no surprise that DKNY tapped prominent member A$AP Rocky for its most recent campaign.
Fresh off the the release of his new visuals for See Me, A$AP Ant aka YG Addie takes on Que’s club banger OG Bobby Johnson. Get to know more about him below:
Name: YG ADDIE. LIL FACE TAT. A$AP ANT
From: Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland
Inspired by: Inspired by my bro, pops, moms and anybody out doing what they wanna do in life and getting money by doing it.
Musical influences: A lot cause I was born in 93 so my big bro Dj Nick (@djnickmarino) put me on DJ Clue tapes, Diplomats I mean everything. Since I can remember I had Cory Guns & Lord Tariq uptown single on tape cassette. First beef song I listen to was Beanie Sigel vs Jadakiss, so I experienced a lot of the late 90s & early 00s. Went from bumping No Limit to Cash Money to Hot Boyz to Rocafella type shit, so every era from late 90s to early 00s we was bumping it. I remember being young as fuck just listening to the lyrics & actually getting what they meant, ahead of my time I guess. Prodigy from Mobb Deep also in my top three rappers of all time.
A$AP Ferg details his journey from being a child listening to Biggie and Mary J. Blidge to releasing his debut album Trap Lord. Heavily influenced by his parents and having a background in fine arts and fashion, Ferg is an all around artist who utilizes all mediums. Find out why he didn’t show up to the B.E.T. Awards, when he was most at peace & who he wants to collaborate with above!
@AmikaMeanz; journalist & contributor of The Known Unknown interviews the fun & boisterous A$AP FERG & A$AP MOB while in town in Toronto. They chat about music, life & New York. Support underground talent. Be sure to pick up all of A$AP FERG’s music. Shot by @AIGPro. Secondary camera by Kristopher Robertson.
The most stylish rapper out there, in town recording tracks for his new album, drops in on Paris Fashion Week and tells us why he always makes a point to stand out from the pack.
GQ: What brings you to Raf’s show today? A$AP Rocky: Raf is one of my biggest inspirations. The way that music inspires people, fashion inspired me. Raf is basically one of my icons. He invited me personally so I couldn’t miss it.
GQ: How long have you been a fan? A$AP Rocky: Probably since 2007
GQ: What was it about Raf’s aesthetic that hooked you? A$AP Rocky: It seemed really immature and frivolous at the time. It was rebellious, it was adolescent, it spoke to a teenager, and now that I’m grown it’s like, his work still grows with me; I feel like I can always relate to it. It’s crazy when you can get a connection with things like fabric and garments because music or movies usually do something like that for people, but for me it’s fashion.
GQ: Speaking of growth, how do you think your own style has evolved in the past few years? A$AP Rocky: I stay true to myself. I guess I have unique style because I dare to differ. I don’t care about fitting in, I don’t want to look like anybody else.
GQ: You’ve done a little designing of your own, most recently with Jeremy Scott on a sneaker. Do you have plans for designing more in the future? A$AP Rocky: [laughs] I mean you see me here right now, right? You never know.
A$AP Rocky’s right hand man and Hip Hop’s rookie of the year A$AP Ferg, sat down with me prior to a recent performance in Las Vegas to speak a little bit about sneakers. Ferg discusses his current favorite sneaker he owns and shares a story about Rocky buying him a pair of kicks. Watch the video above for the video interview.
Since releasing their latest project Lords Never Worry, A$AP Mob has proven that if boy bands did not stand the test of time, a Mob will. From the looks of it, they have the right formula. The group is made up of many talented individuals from designers to rappers to producers and managers. Each member plays a vital role. When asked what might get a member kicked out of the group, each member proceeded to shout “doing too much!” Apparently, they will not hesitate to hand out a DTM Award.
This time last year they recalled being fresh off tour. A$AP Ferg gratefully added “It is a blessing to be currently touring.” For many artists, touring is where majority of their income comes from. Although less than half of the mob was present, their energy levels made up for the missing parties.
As ANDPOP’s Simon Mohos would soon learn, travelling light isn’t an option for the A$AP Mob.
Founded in Harlem, the hip hop collective boasts a long list of talent that include music producers and rappers, most notably rapper A$AP Rocky. Together they’ve cultivated a lifestyle that celebrates hip hop, high fashion and art in a uniquely New York sense.
Simon caught up with a couple of members of the A$AP Mob to try and get a glimpse of what the A$AP Life is like. In a Toronto boutique crowded by fans of the collective, he goes through their Instagram feeds and gives A$AP Ferg, A$AP Ant, A$AP Twelvy and A$AP Illz the #NoFilter treatment. They tell our host what it’s like to get inducted into the mob, reminisce over a memorable souvenir and what being a trap lord is all about.