On Sunday afternoon A$AP Ferg wasn’t scheduled to talk to Complex. But, as luck would have it, he just happened to be stuck in traffic on New Orleans’ Royal Street (where we were at) while on his way to the Voodoo Museum, and noticed a couple of high school friends in the neighborhood. Once he learned that 2 Chainz was about to take the stage he stuck around to catch up with us.
Cool, impromptu interviews always welcome.
While he was checking in he made sure to send shout-outs in the direction of James Harden and Nick Young, let us know that the follow-up to 2016’s Cozy Tapes Vol. 1 is coming soon, and also that he has his own continuation of 2016’s Always Strive and Prosper, which he personally guarantees will be lit.
Guess we’ll find out if he can follow through on that soon enough.
Today, ASAP Bari is finally opening the doors to his weekend-long VLONE x NikeLab pop-up in Harlem. The pop-up, located at 113 West 116th St., will carry various VLONE items, including the insanely hyped Air Force 1s, clothing, accessories (a headband, basketball, and pins), and white AF1s that will be customized by an artist on the spot.
We stopped by the pop-up yesterday for a media preview. By the time we left, there was already a line—hours before the pop-up even opens to the public. While we were there, we spoke to Bari about VLONE, whether or not he ever expected the brand to get this big, and if he’s planning a wider release for the special AF1s. Of course, we also had to ask the question on everyone’s mind: What’s up with the VLONE x Nike AF1 high he teased?
2016 can be marked as the year that ASAP Rocky completed his ascension from streetwear star to bona fide high fashion habitué. With the help of consistently killer front row style—see his Gucci Resort 2017 look—and his appointment as the new face of Dior Homme, Rocky became the “Fashion Killa” that he rapped about years ago. What’s been truly great about Rocky’s rise is a few things that have remained true; he hasn’t turned his back on any of the hallmarks that made him him. Rocky is still very Harlem jiggy, as evidenced by the floor-length mink he rocked at the Yeezy Season Three presentation. With his nostalgic Guess Jeans collaboration, he’s shown that he hasn’t forgotten the great streetwear brands of his youth. And no one can rock a classic ’90s style moment quite like him: white t-shirt tucked into light blue jeans, casually cinched with a belt, and topped with a black sport coat. Rocky is the rarest of style dudes; a man who can naturally embody the past and present with the ease of a furry Gucci mule. —Deidre Dyer
Imagine growing up in Harlem and Nike asking you to make your own pair of Air Force 1s or, as you’d call them, Uptowns. That’s exactly what ASAP Bari is dealing with right now, as his clothing brand, VLONE, is the most recent collaboration on the sneaker that’s approaching its 35th birthday.
The sneakers themselves are black with orange highlights, made from premium leather, and debuting at ComplexCon, which is going down right now in Long Beach, California. We had the opportunity to talk to Bari about what this project means to him and his neighborhood. Edison Chen, the Hong Kong entertainment mogul and co-founder of CLOT, was also able to provide insights on why the Air Force 1 remains a massive sneaker almost three and a half decades after they were first released.
A$AP Ferg drops much truth on Always Strive and Prosper, the kind of honesty that wasn’t quite available on his debut album. And not just truth about his own upbringing in Harlem, but how place affected the people close to him. He told Complex as much: “This is my documentary to my life.” Which is why there’s a song dedicated to his grandma—who also appears on “Beautiful People” alongside legendary rapper Chuck D. Or why he puts his uncle’s business in the streets on “Psycho.” But trust, Ferg also comes through with bangers like “New Level” and “Swipe Life.” Both tracks are liable to tear up the club and motivate the haves and have nots. Always Strive and Prosper is the definition of when keeping it real goes right. Salute the Trap Lord. —Edwin Ortiz
Complex City Cyphers will travel to various cities to highlight local rappers and musicians. In this pilot episode, A$AP Ferg, Wiki, and Your Old Droog freestyle over music provided by Grammy nominated jazz musician Christian Scott. This cypher is deeply rooted in the traditions of freestyling in hip-hop and improvisation in jazz. The live collaboration provides a sonically unique and refreshing approach to the tried and true video format of the cypher.
You would never have guessed it, what with lines like, “Short nigga but my dick tall/What I told your bitch, dog/Only thug nigga down at the Pitchfork/Dirty van bitches wanna suck my dick off,” but A$AP Ferg was, until recently, in a serious relationship. How serious? He and his ex met in junior high school when Ferg was just known as Darold Ferguson Jr. They began dating a year later and stayed together for seven years. Yes, the Trap Lord has ruled with a queen by his side for the better part of his career. Who better, then, to give advice to young’ns looking to enter the rap game and keep wifey happy?
In 2013 A$AP Rocky was given a sneaker collaboration with adidas on a pair of all-black Jeremy Scott Wings sneakers, and it was only a matter of time before his right-hand man, A$AP Ferg, got his chance to work with the brand, too.
It’s two years later and a lot has changed for the A$AP Mob since those days. They’ve lost their mentor, A$AP Yams, and it’s directly affecting Ferg’s project with adidas, as he’s chosen to dedicate the sneaker he designed to the late Yams.
The collection comes in the form of two “Hood Pope” colorways of the adi-Ease skateboarding shoe, along with a T-shirt featuring a painting of Yams that Ferg did himself.
With Art Basel taking place in Miami right now, adidas and Ferg have gone down to Florida to open an art gallery, titled “Always Strive and Prosper,” for the collection, which opens today at 9 p.m. at 337 SW 8th St.
The sneakers also released today, too, and can be purchased here for $70. To further understand how this sneaker collaboration came about and how much Yams influenced it, we spoke to Ferg himself.
In the latest episode of Super, A$AP Ferg talk about his superhero characters which alternate between the peaceful Hood Pope and the more violent Trap Lord. Shoutout to Ferg’s sidekick, Marty Baller, who would get his head blown off on occasion but it would grow back on it’s own.
A$AP Ferg is not like other rappers trying make their way in the fashion industry. Despite a successful music career, Ferg actually started off designing clothes. He graduated from art school; launched his own label, Devoni, which Chris Brown and Swizz Beatz are fans of; and has collaborated with brands like Young & Reckless and PacSun. Now, he’s entering the very tough denim industry with a collaboration with L.A. brand AGOLDE—the same project he’s been teasing on Instagram this past week.
The Trap Lord personally worked at AGOLDE’s factory during the production of the collection, learning the ins and outs of the denim industry while simultaneously contributing creatively to the range. The collection is inspired by his favorite pair of jeans, which he’s worn on tour, at fashion shows, and while riding BMX bikes. “I basically want to give the world a piece of me,” he says. The collection also includes T-shirts, a hoodie, and denim jackets—but it’s the jeans, he says, that he’s especially proud of.
We recently caught up with Ferg to talk to get the exclusive on his new denim collaboration, being inspired by Ralph Lauren, plus how the “Dope Walk” video with Cara Delevingne came about.
Ferg’s collaboration with AGOLDE launches Spring 2016.
Any celebrity style list without A$AP Rocky is irrelevant. Just facts. Besides Kanye West, who else in hip-hop right now has and is changing fashion and the way Harlem guys dress? From the jump, he’s had a sense of style specific to him, which is to say, he’s never followed trends or done what other celebs were doing. If anything, he’s started a few trends, inspired the youth to tie a shirt around their waist, cop Rick Owens gear, and Google Ann Demeulemeester. The Complex cover star is having a big year so far—he released the long-awaited album A.L.L.A., is starring in the film Dope, and may be working on a line of luxury fur coats—and honestly, his style is just getting even better.