A$AP Ferg sits down with Fuse TV to talk about his new album, working with Missy Elliot, and more.
In the summer of 2011 Harlem’s A$AP Mob became the center 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 armor 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$AP Yams.
Continue reading on i-D Magazine.
J.Scott and I have known each other for a little over a year. Even though we rarely see each other– with him traveling the world and me being in New York– we have always stayed close and it’s a “see ya when I see ya” kind of situation. Whenever we are in the same city, we always make time for each other and it’s nice catching up on all the excitement in our lives!
J.Scott is someone I really admire and look up to: He has definitely helped guide me in a lot of ways! He has a lot going on for him and sometimes– at least when I was younger– when I saw people with careers that I could only dream of, I would forget they were still human. My goal here is to ask things that may not be asked in typical interviews, all in the hopes of revealing a more human side of the person in question. I guess it’s part of my bigger mission with this project of addressing subjects that the media doesn’t frequently touch on. Here’s a little snippet of Justin’s background and how his life got to be where it is:
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On the cover of A$AP Ferg’s second album Always Strive and Prosper, the Harlem rapper is draped in white linen, falling into a dark body of water. The artwork, realized by designer Renell Medrano, carries captivating themes of baptism and rebirth. Ferg developed his creative senses through visual arts school and has always embraced the grittiness of his New York heritage in his music, style, and attitude, but as his success grows, his focus is more so now to inspire and educate others by sharing these collected experiences. The new Ferg is familiar, but it’s an enlightened version of himself: a beaconing figure inviting his disciples into the most intimate corners of his kingdom.
“It represents a new me,” Ferg says when we sit down just before the kick-off of his album listening party in NYC’s SoHo adidas store. “I was Trap Lord, and I graduated to the Hood Pope because I travelled the world. I’m older, I’m wiser. Now I can come back to preach to my people.”
Part of Ferg’s storytelling capitalizes on the importance of varied perspective. Included on the tracklist of Always Strive and Prosper are names from all walks of life, joined together under Ferg’s leadership. Think: Future and ScHoolboy Q, Chuck D and Missy Elliott, Lil Uzi Vert and Marty Baller, Ferg’s grandmother and the mother of the late A$AP Yams. As Ferg explains, all of these people have touched his artistic outlook in some shape or form. “I feel like, in a way, all of these voices, these people, these fabrics, makes the cloth that I’m made of.”
And while he was simply paying homage to their influences by recruiting them onto his project, Ferg is simultaneously marking a landmark in modern hip hop culture. He put OGs in the same rooms as the up-and-comers, he brought together his long-time colleagues to celebrate a shared passion for music, he put his dearest family members on songs with his heroes. While he’s not the first to tell his personal story through a varied perspective, in a genre that’s becoming increasingly cut-and-paste and welcoming of imitators, we need these moments of unexpected togetherness in rap. Without them, the culture not only becomes regurgitated and static, but we also lose sight of hip hop’s familial values.
And as The Hood Pope preaches his self-written gospels, taking us on the journey of his rebirth through the sonic and visual components of Always Strive and Prosper, he’s also planting his staff in an important cultural moment, proving the power of perspective in front of all of his successors.
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A$AP Ferg dropped by The Breakfast Club to discuss his sophomore album Always Strive and Prosper. This time around he is more personal than before. His background is in art and fashion and he was used to playing behind the scenes, he was forced to the forefront once his music career took off and he had to get used to it. Now he realizes that you have to open up all of yourself to the fans.
Via The Breakfast Club.
A$AP Ferg walked up to Hot 97 to have a conversation about his brand new album, how he feels he’s going as an artist, and more with Ebro in the Morning.
The rapper spoke about the support for his album, where he claims he does a lot of the footwork of most of his work.
A$AP Ferg is tucked in the back of the Crosby Bar at New York’s Crosby Hotel, and he’s feeling under the weather. He’s wearing an inside out sweatshirt with “PSYCHO” emblazoned on the front, made by his uncle (the “Psycho” on his latest album), along with Adidas track pants and a pair of his Trap Lord x Adi Ease kicks from his Adidas collection. A packed press schedule is stopping him from getting better, but he’s in good spirits eating poached salmon with quinoa and sweet potatoes, while sipping on a glass of Riesling. I casually recite Kanye West’s “beasting off the Riesling” line and Ferg perks up a bit. “Kanye’s so funny because I’m just hearing from madd different sources, like he must’ve been jamming the songs I put out ‘cause he went on Twitter and said he loves my album,” he says with a warm smile. “I heard from somebody that’s working with him in Germany that Kanye said I’m his favorite artist.” Despite being arguably at the top of his game, things like that still mean something to A$AP Ferg.
Born Darold Ferguson Jr., Ferg was raised on 143rd Street between Amsterdam and Broadway in Harlem’s Hamilton Heights (“Hungry Ham,” if you ask him). His father designed both the Bad Boy Records logo and Andre Harrell’s logo among others, which infused fashion into Ferg at a young age. His start-up clothing line Devoni Clothing had artists like Chris Brown and Swizz Beatz rocking his belts long before Ferg even touched a microphone. His ascension as part of A$AP Mob was swift—some may argue that it derived from a tight grip on Rocky’s coattails, though now Ferg has carved his own niche in the game.
A$AP Ferg is like a levelheaded Kanye West. He has huge dreams, and gets animated as he discusses his AGOLDE denim capsule collection with Citizens For All Humanity, designed after the jeans from his “Work” video. He wants to do more fashion and film, but hopes to reach a place where he can readily receive the capital to do it all (sound familiar?). He says the glitz and glamour of fame don’t faze him—and while he rocks his name on a diamond-encrusted ring that spans the length of four knuckles, he views it as a piece of art over a proof of purchase.
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In early April at The Canopy Club, New York emcee A$AP Twelvyy opened for Flatbush ZOMBiES on the 3001: A Laced Odyssey Tour. After dropping his new single “Last Year Being Broke” this past New Year’s Eve, Twelvyy is positioning himself for a big year – his new mixtape, 2127301090, is set to drop shortly, and he recently laid down a guest verse on A$AP Ferg‘s new album, Always Strive and Prosper.
After his set at Canopy, Twelvyy spoke with UPC about his new project, his first album purchase, the current state of the sneaker game and much more. Check out the conversation below.
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A$AP Ferg is not who you he think he is.
On paper, the Harlem-bred rapper is cocky and brash, seemingly taking pages out of a long-standing rap playbook: He gives himself nicknames like Trap Lord and Hood Pope, and on 2013’s “Shabba,” his biggest single to date, he raps about how “dirty van bitches wanna suck my dick.” He regularly wears mink jackets and a gold grill in his mouth. He makes music videos that fashion him into one of Jesus’s disciples.
But, as he’ll tell you, the real Ferg is far more complex.
Born Darold Ferguson Jr., the 27-year-old is an experimenter, an oddball, and an adaptable artist who figured he’d be a fashion designer—he designed T-shirts alongside his late boutique-owning father and even started his own line of belts. But he wound up a rapper. “I was designing, making money off that,” he says of the teenage years he spent painting silk-screened shirts by hand with a paintbrush and acrylic paints, following in his dad’s footsteps. “But I had another talent,” Ferg says. “Rapping.”
Continue reading on GQ Magazine.
Always Strive and Prosper. It’s more than a feel-good album title for A$AP Ferg; it’s a way of life. “That’s the voyage that I’m going through right now. I’m always striving. You hit new levels [and] even when you hit that new level, there’s a new level from there.”
It’s early evening in a tiny dressing room at the Adidas Originals store on 136 Wooster Street. The 27-year-old rapper waxes poetic while kicking his feet — outfitted with his custom-designed Adidas sneakers — in a swivel chair. He’s been fighting off a cold and beads of sweat gather at his forehead. Outside, the din grows as fans pack into the store to hear the rapper’s forthcoming sophomore album, set to be released April 22.
Born Darold Ferguson Jr., in Harlem, A$AP Ferg grew to prominence alongside high school friend A$AP Rocky in 2009, but his creative trajectory didn’t begin with rap. Ferg’s late father, Darold Ferguson, was a prolific designer who created logos for Bad Boy Records, and had his own fashion line called Ferg Apparel. As a teen growing up in Hamilton Heights, Ferg attended the High School of Art and Design and peddled his own clothing and accessories. “It’s in the bloodline,” he tells the Voice. Following A$AP Rocky’s breakthrough, “Peso,” Ferg realized rap was a viable career option. “I started getting the calls from Warner Bros., Sony. Any rap label you could think about called my phone [to] try and get meetings with A$AP [Mob].”
While Rocky, the self-professed “Pretty Motherfucker,” is the collective’s rock star, Ferg is its darker, grimier figure. In 2013, he released his debut, Trap Lord, buoyed by the underground bangers “Work” and “Shabba.”
Continue reading on The Village Voice.
Backstage at the University of Illinois’ go-to concert venue, The Canopy Club, A$AP Twelvyy is rocking his usual Cozy Boys attire: black durag, black hoodie, sweats and “Bred” Jordan Is.
Though his outfit may suit his calm, cool and collected demeanor, Twelvyy’s live show is anything but tranquil. The 26-year-old Bronx/Harlem native performs with a certain, unquantifiable tenacity that earns him rap game John Starks status in the eyes of many.
We sat down with Twelvyy post-show to discuss the Knicks, college hoops and upcoming A$AP releases. Among the man also know as 212 Mel’s early influences were Em, Cam’ron and Snoop—now, he’s looking to pave his own legacy alongside his partners: Rocky, Ferg, Nast, Ant and the rest of the Mob.
Continue reading on SLAM Online.