A$AP Ferg talks with Fuse Tv
Backstage at Coachella, A$AP Ferg sat down with Fuse TV to talk about the A$AP Mob album, touring with M.I.A, his sophomore album & more.
106 & Park Guest Rewind: A$AP Ferg speaks on Coachella, touring, and A$AP Twelvyy’s new single Xscape.
M.I.A speaks on touring with A$AP Ferg
A$AP Twelvyy “Xscape” official video.
New Music: Xscape - A$AP Twelvyy
New Music: No Rest For The Wicked Remix - Lykke Li ft A$AP Rocky
New Music: Servin’ Lean - Pee Wee Longway ft A$AP Rocky
New Music: Dope Lord (Move That Dope Freestyle) - A$AP Ferg
[Verse 1: ASAP Twelvyy]
Feelin like Puff back in ‘98
Bad Boy here, boost the crime rate
My hand good but the nine great
Fuck the Law, nigga; Crime pays
Can’t tax dirty money
Thank the Lord for dirty money
Man, I used to be dead broke
Now my bank full of dead folks
Get the Benjis for my brothers
Grants for the bills and the Jacksons to my mother
Mama Love kept me so clean
And I got it with the dope fiends
Now I’m tryna get my dough clean
When they get a glimpse of the whole team
In that Velour VLONE
A Nutcracker at the kingdom
"Work" banging on my ringtone
Whole team getting dough; she ain’t even know
It’s the year of that A$AP
Niggas slept on us now it’s time for that payback
[Hook: ASAP Twelvyy]
Mad stress round here
Got my bulletproof vest and my tech round here
I just wanna get away
But I can’t get away
It’s mad stress round here
Got my bulletproof vest and my tech round here
I just wanna get away
But I can’t get away
[Verse 2: ASAP Twelvyy]
It’s like my backs against the wall
See a nigga want it all
Run the game with my dogs
See they praying that I fall
Another mural on the wall
Front page of the Source
A blood stain on the floor
Another Black boy lost
Left slain in the Porsche
Man, they killed my nigga Stack B
I’m yelling, free my nigga Max B
Man, they killed that boy Trayvon
I got the right to carry firearms
Bill of Rights; I know my shit
Bunch of books and some loaded clips
Tell the law, suck my dick
Free my nigga S-1
And Remy, too
For them 2? I’m a wreck, son
Know a nigga stressed
Know a nigga blessed
Gotta get this shit up off my chest
Fuck the rest, cuz when sun is set
I’mma burn the rest
Then kill some clowns with my loaded TEC
Trigger happy; Nigga nappy head peasy
Be easy motherfucker. Ha!
To many, A$AP Rocky was meant to be an aberration. A young guy with hustle who had the happy knack of seamlessly weaving southern inflections into his New York rap music. Good for him, the purists said. He wouldn’t last.
Then A$AP Ferg appeared. Once again, there was the doubt. Was this guy - and the rest of A$AP Mob, a collective of not just rappers, but producers, filmmakers and fashion designers also - simply riding on the coattails of Rocky’s success? Could lightning strike twice? Surely not.
But then ‘Work’ happened - a ferocious, clanging single and arguably the best hip-hop cut of 2012.
In 2013, it was followed by ‘Shabba’ and a fine full length debut, Trap Lord. Now, eight months later, Ferg is preparing to tour Australia, which, counting his support of Rocky’s shows last year, means it’s for the second time in only nine months.
A$AP Mob haven’t stopped there either. In December A$AP Nast fronted a rambunctious New York throwback of a tune, ‘Trillmatic’. And as if to pound home the relevancy, Wu-Tang’s Method Man turned up to deliver one of his best verses in years. It’s fair to say these guys aren’t going anywhere soon, except maybe on a bunch of US and international tours.
Hence why Ferg is due in Australia any day. TheVine connected to the Harlem-born rapper during a New Zealand tour stop and talked music. We got the low down on the importance of albums, how to conduct a rap crew in 2014, dealing with the capricious New York scene, and the ways Ferg’s life has changed over the last 12 months.
Matt Shea: Ferg. What’s up?
A$AP Ferg: Hey Matt! Whattup?
Whereabouts are you?
I’m in a vehicle right now, heading to the studio.
Where? In New York? I figured you were in New Zealand by now.
Yeah! I’m in New Zealand going to a studio (laughs).
(to tour manager) What’s the name of the studio?
(pauses) We’re going to the studio where Kanye and Nas recorded.
Wow. How’s New Zealand treating you?
I love New Zealand. I’m looking at all the fit women. The women are so fit, like they work out everyday. I need to move out here (laughs).
2013 was huge for you. Finding you in New Zealand sets up this question nicely: how much has life changed since this time last year? Do you think about that at all?
I don’t really think about it that much, but I know how much it has changed. It’s changed a lot. Say, I just bought a new crib, but [then] I don’t get to sleep in it, really. Because I’m travelling. I’m travelling to here and travelling to everywhere.
This time last year, did you think you’d have an LP out, touring New Zealand and touring Australia? Was that the plan? Was it on the radar?
It wasn’t really a plan. I didn’t think I’d have an album out. It was called a mixtape, but then in [my mind] I was always making an album. But then when they decided to call it an album I was like, ‘Oh, OK! I’ve got an album.’ (laughs)
Trap Lord now has seven or eight months on the clock. You talked about it with, I think, genuine affection in the lead-up. How do you feel about it with that bit of perspective, though. Looking back, are there things you would change? Or are there elements that make you think how you’d like to approach your next full length?
I wouldn’t change anything on that album. I did that album with blood, sweat and tears. I put everything I got into that album. I gave it my best work. I love that album.
There are way more great rappers than there are great rap albums. Is it important to you to create these full length albums that hold together over the whole project?
How do you mean?
As opposed to EPs or mixtapes or singles, are albums important to you as an artist?
Oh yeah, I do treat albums differently. It has to be my best art. But then if I’m making a mixtape I guess I treat it as if I’m making an album too. I just want to put out the best music ever. It’s not really that different for me between a mixtape and an album. I’ll just want to put out really, really good music. I want to put out music that is better than the competition.
I think after Rocky came up, a lot of people were really impressed with how different you were. Do you think that’s an important part of A$AP Mob on the rap side of things - to differentiate yourselves from each other.
It’s very important. I was born alone, I’m gonna die alone. I have my own identity. I’m my own person and no two people are the same. I want to teach the fucking kids out there that they can be themselves and still flourish and go and make things happen - go and be the biggest artist and the biggest whatever you want. That’s my own mission in life - to preach to kids that they can do whatever they want to do - and the fact that you are yourself, that’s special in itself.
When you guys got together as A$AP Mob, was that a clearly defined aspect — that the aim was for you all to be different? Because something like ‘Trillmatic’ really shows a different stripe again, with Nast taking the lead.
Yeah, we’re all different but we all relate to each other.
Do you feel like it takes pressure off you if, as a group of artists, you have more success. You for Rocky and now maybe Nast for you? Does that take the pressure off and give you room to move artistically?
Being successful at what I’m doing?
More as a group. As you have success as a group, does that free you up as individuals to go down more adventurous paths in terms of your music. Do you think that’s another benefit of you guys all having success?
Well, I feel like the main thing was to make Rocky successful. And the fact that Rocky was so successful has given me a vessel to go out there and really do what I want to do. Because if he wasn’t successful, there weren’t nobody who wanted to hear what A$AP Ferg had to offer to the world. The fact that he was successful gave me a chance, it gave Nast a chance, and gave [A$AP] Twelvyy a chance. [But] that whole thing is over with. Nobody else has to be successful for me to be successful anymore. It was just Rocky, and now I can do whatever the fuck I wanna do.
Looking on the flip side. Having the success with Trap Lord — does that create any pressure for you in terms of pressure that you might now apply to ourself to create an even better project in the future. Do you feel that pressure in terms of your music going forward?
I never feel pressure. I never feel pressure because that’s what makes me better. I run into obstacles, and I know that it makes you a stronger artist. I’m made for this. Whenever I run into obstacles I get stronger and I get more excited. I enjoy that.
Now, Australia, are you looking forward to getting back?
Yeah, I love Australia. Australia is so dope. It’s a different culture and the people appreciate music differently to how they do in the US.
They know all the songs. They’ve heard it off my album. Some people in the US may not know. They might know a ‘Cocaine Castle’ but they may not know every word. Basically they’re not going to appreciate that, you know what I mean? [The Australian response] shows me what I’ve been working so hard to achieve.
When you toured Australia with Rocky in the middle of last year, what did you take away from that? Because I sensed a lot of punters here didn’t really know that much about you, but that changed very quickly once they saw you live. Did you get any impression of that? Of people sitting up and taking notice, so to speak?
Well a lot of people didn’t know who I was. But then a lot of people did know who I was. I’d have fans stopping me in the street and saying hi to me and nothing to Rocky (laughs). That was weird, you know what I’m saying, because I’m not used to that. So they came to see me as much as they came to see Rocky. There might have been fans who came to see Twelvyy and Nast who don’t give two shits about me and Rocky. So it goes hand-in-hand - some people come to see me, some people come to see him. That’s why we’re a group. There are a lot of different types and styles that people can relate to.
Watching you live in Brisbane last year, it felt like delivering a good show was really important to you guys. Is that a fair comment?
Of course, because that’s how you ensure your longevity. If you put on a wack show you won’t get booked again.
I was wondering, does it change with New York? Rap started on the street corners in New York as a live event, so does that DNA trickle down to the modern day? Do you think its intrinsically more important for New York rappers to put on a good show?
Nah, because there’s a lot of New York rappers who are lazy. For sure.
Talking about New York, A$AP Mob copped a bit of flak there when you were first coming up. What’s the attitude now? Is it any better? Is the New York scene any more accepting of you guys now that you’ve taken such a lead, so to speak?
Um, I don’t really know. Honestly. Because there are people who travel from all across the world to come to New York for our shows. Whether the New Yorkers themselves embrace us like that, I’m not really sure.
So what are the plans for the rest of 2014?
I’m just gonna put out more records, we’re gonna put out this A$AP Mob album. I’m gonna put out another album and then another album after that. And then I’m gonna put out a mixtape, and then I’m gonna put out another ten songs, and then I’m gonna put out a hundred more songs and a thousand songs after that (laughs).
I’ll let you go, Ferg. Look forward to seeing you in Brisbane.
Oh, one more thing. Make sure all of Australia downloads the Trap Lord app. I have an app. I’m the only rapper in the world to have an app. So go to traplord.com and download the app. You can go to see my photos, you can listen to my music, you can listen to everything on my app and you’ll be the first to listen to it in Australia. Peace.
from The Vine
A$AP Ferg Australia Tour: Ferg picks someone from the crowd to freestyle on stage.
Last month A$AP Ferg & A$AP Nast performed at 100 Club in London for Converse Gigs.
Check out some footage + an interview above.