A$VP FERG – ARTIST PROVOCATEUR

DAROLD FERGUSON JR USES ABSTRACT CREATIVITY TO BOTH PAINT AND DESIGN, AND HE SEES RAPPING AS AN AGGRESSIVE FORM OF MUCH THE SAME EXPRESSION. RIP NICHOLSON GOES IN ON THE ARTIST THAT IS A$AP FERG.

ASAP FERG interviewed @ 08:30 AEST – Thursday 27th February, 2014
For Street Press Australia & Rip2Shredz Press

Words by RIP NICHOLSON

[Full Q & A below]

“Rapping is a skill that I’m constantly working at as far as lyrics and subjects and art frees me from anything else in an abstract way which gives me the purest thought of mind and designing is another abstract side to myself,” expresses Ferguson. “So it’s all kinda different approaches. Rapping is a more aggressive form as I’m trying to fit that to reflect the music that themes the surroundings of how I grew up, kinda.”

One part of the hip hop creative Always Strive And Prosper (A$AP) Mob, which features the notable A$AP Rocky and a slew of rappers, producers, creators and designers, Ferguson slots in nicely to his high school group as they conquer their slice of hip hop’s history. Before their coming together Ferguson was known as a hustler, a so-called trap lord establishing a fashion label bequeathed to him by his late father, a shirt designer for many of hip hop’s illustrious including P. Diddy and Bad Boy, Heavy D and Bell Biv Devoe. Ferguson declares that if not for being a recording artist he would have been known as A$AP Ferg, a part of hip hop one way or another.

“I would be an artist of some description no matter what,” insists Ferguson. “I would probably be known for painting right now and then later become a rapper. Like, I would have ended up doing fashion and creating visions one way or another. But it’s all art and I envision myself expressing my creativity in different avenues such as through clothes and music. Then, I would have made friends with Rocky and I would have become A$AP anyway,” he laughs.

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Highlighting how hard he goes in the paint, Ferguson is about expressing himself through various art and finds himself following the style wars of fashion luminaries Alexander Wang, Jeremy Scott to most recently clothes shopping in the company of Ralph Lauren, to even painting the walls of his home with Ralph Lauren suede effect. But the art for which he is most admired is in his debut LP Trap Lord, released last August featuring Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Onyx and B-Real of Cypress Hill. Trap Lord paints his Harlem, New York roots as illustrated on the closer, Cocaine Castle where Ferguson draws from the darker surroundings to his childhood, imagery reminiscent of New Jack City’s The Carter building set in Harlem’s Graham Court. Then just as Trap Lord climbs to an ascension it is pinched off, teasing listeners for more.

“That’s exactly what I wanted to do. When I created Trap Lord, I wanted to take the music to a new plateau sonically. Like, I started off on hard songs like Let It Go and Shabba with trap-hard beats to play on the radio, and then it flows into this more artistic kind of freestyle sound that I was trying to create. And it’s like the ‘to be continued’ of what I’m trying to create overall on this project,” explains Ferguson who, on the height of the album invites Queens, New York natives Onyx, A$ton Matthews and West coast toker B-Real to bring out the album’s crescendo on Fuck Out My Face.

“I look at myself as the new Onyx,” proclaims Ferguson. “And, I look at Matthews as the new B-Real. Cypress Hill and I kinda bridged the gap between old school and the new school.”

Also throwing down on Trap Lord is Waka Flocka Flame who comes from the same recording house (1017 Brick Squad) as Gucci Mane. As Ferguson describes, adding him to Murda Something was a militant move given that there were words exchanged over the album’s title after Gucci came out with his mixtape Trap God recently. “Waka Flocka’s a really good friend of mine. But I felt that was kinda clever because at that time Gucci Mane was tryin’ to beef with me on Twitter and I wanted to salt his game a lil’. So that was like a spit in the face of Gucci to have Flocka on my joint. So for me, that was some clever shit I did to get at him in this situation.”

Arriving in April, Ferguson strives to further establish his Trap Lord hustle in Australia for the second time before his new album L.O.R.D. is released. It’s a lot of surprises on that one,” hints Ferguson on the follow-up to Trap Lord. “There’s already like two new songs that’s crazy, like with a bunch of great people I’ve bagged in the studio. Not just to get great people on the album! It’s all happened organically and we’ve let the music happen. So it’s all built off great energy and it’s going to blow up.”

[Full Q & A below]

ASAP_FERG_A21

Q & A with A$VP FERG

One part of the hip-hop creative, Always Strive And Prosper (A$AP) Mob, which features the notable A$AP Rocky and a slew of rappers, producers, creators and designers, Ferguson slots in nicely to his high school group as they conquer their slice of hip-hop’s history. Before their coming together Ferguson was known as a hustler, a so-called trap lord establishing a fashion label bequeathed to him by his late father, a shirt designer for many of hip-hop’s illustrious, P. Diddy and Bad Boy, Heavy D and Bell Biv Devoe. Ferguson declares, that if not for being a recording artist he would have been known as A$AP Ferg, a part of hip-hop one way or another.

Highlighting how hard he goes in the paint, Ferguson is about expressing himself through various art and finds himself following the style wars of fashion luminaries Alexander Wang, Jeremy Scott to most recently clothes shopping in the company of Ralph Lauren, to even painting the walls of his home with Ralph Lauren suede effect. But the art for which he is most admired is in his debut LP, Trap Lord released last August featuring Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Onyx and B-Real of Cypress Hill. Trap Lord paints his Harlem, New York roots, as illustrated on the closer, ‘Cocaine Castle’ where Ferguson draws from the darker surroundings to his childhood, imagery reminiscent of New Jack City’s The Carter building set in Harlem’s Graham Court. Then just as Trap Lord climbs to an ascension it is pinched off, teasing listeners for more.

Rip Nicholson goes in on the artist that is, A$AP Ferg.

RIP – As an artist of fashion, designing clothes to painting and making music – it’s very universal of you. Can you come at each of these in the same way or do they take very different approaches from your creative space?

FERG – I take different approach to them. Because the rapping is a skill that I’m constantly working at as far as lyrics and subjects and art frees me from anything else in an abstract way which gives me the purest thought of mind and designing is another abstract side to myself. So it’s all kinda different approaches. Rapping is the more aggressive as I’m trying to fit that to reflect the music that themes the ways and surroundings of how I grew up, kinda.

ASAP_FERGHOODPOPE_95

Recently, you’ve been hanging out Big Sean, Miley Cyrus, even her mother. But to be coolin’ with Ralph Lauren the other day?! How was that? Were you playing grasshopper?

Yeah, like Ralph Lauren is a great friend of mine. He’s been a mentor to me for life. I follow his escapades and aspire to be like him. His brand is huge and I love what he has done for fashion and I definitely want to emulate him.

Do you feel that had it not been for (A$AP) Rocky and joining the A$AP Mob that you would have followed down the lines of becoming a fashion designer yourself?

I would be an artist of some description no matter what. I would probably be painting right now and and been famous for that and still become a rapper from that. Like, I would have ended up doing fashion and creating visions one way or another. But it’s all art and I envision myself in expressing my creativity in different avenues such as through clothes and music. Then, I would have made friends with Rocky and I would have become A$AP anyway.

How have you handled the level of success and fame in recent years? Does it trip you out to have white girls, kids, strangers come up and ask for an autograph or rap your shit?

Nah, I embrace it because I’ve come a long way. I watched Rock for years handle it before I became known anyway. So I saw how he handled it before it became something in my life and I’ve grown into how to handle situations so it ain’t like a newcomer to it anyway. It’s not like I’m oblivious to what’s going on and what to do.

On to Trap Lord. You kept the best for last. For me, some of the dopest tracks were towards the end of the album. It’s like we just got into the right atmosphere of what you were trying to paint with your music before you shut it off.

I’m glad you worded it like that, because that’s exactly what I wanted to do. When I created Trap Lord I wanted to take the music to a new plateau, sonically. Like, I started off on hard songs like ‘Let It Go’ and ‘Shabba’ trap-hard beats to play on the radio and then it flows into this more artistic kind of freestyle of sound that I was trying to create. And, it’s like the to be continued of what I’m trying to create overall on this project.

Yes it does give that abrupt to-be-continued vibe towards the end and it almost disappoints to end because you feel like your artistic view is only just warming up.

Yo, word!

On ‘Cocaine Castle’ you hit up a lot of poignant questions on there, was it your hope that this would lend to listeners consciousness and bring awareness on the troubles of drug abuse?

No, it was kind of a conscious stream but it was more of an image stream. it was like I had this image in my head and I wanted to paint a picture with lyrics. It’s real for me because I’ve experienced what I talked about in the song and so for other people who know people on drugs or who have been on drugs they can relate to it. So I just wanted to make it available to everyone and let them know where I’m coming from on that aspect of the subject matter.

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On ‘Murda Something’ you had Waka Flocka Flame jump in on a verse. Was that a militant move given that he’s with Gucci Mane’s fam, and his beef with your album title?

Like, Waka Flocka’s a really good friend of mine. But I felt that was kinda clever because at that time Gucci Mane was tryin’ to beef with me on Twitter and that, and I wanted to salt his game a lil’. So that was like a spit in the face of Gucci to have Flocka on my joint. So for me, that was some clever shit I did to get at him in this situation.

‘Fuck Out My Face’ sees you bring back Onyx’s Fredro and Sticky Fingaz and also B-Real from the West and Aston Matthews – which seems random. How did bringing all them together for this joint come about?

I look at myself as the new Onyx and I look at Matthews as the new B-Real, Cypress Hill and I kinda bridged the gap between old school and the new school. That’s what that was about.

So, April you’re coming down to Australia. Not your first time down here. What do you hope to get out of this trip?

I hope I gain more fans, I hope more people get into my music. I feel I owe it to my fanbase to give them my best. A lot of people out there buy my clothing, Trap Lord Clothing. So, I’m heavy out there I just want to pull a big audience and let my music hit people and build on more people.

How’s the next album coming along? L.O.R.D.? Any surprises we can expect to jump off of that?

It’s a lot of surprises on that one. Good surprises. There’s already like two new songs that’s crazy, like with a bunch of great people I’ve bagged in the studio. Not just to get great people on the album! It’s all happened organically and we’ve let the music happen. So it’s all built off great energy and it’s going to blow up.

ASAP_FERGHOODPOPE_30

Cool, so is this the continuation as you see it, from Trap Lord?

No, it’s not a continuation from Trap Lord. It’s a continuation from making good trap music.

A$AP Ferg, thank you for your time.

Do me a favour, bro. Let Australians go demo my my new Trap Lord app. They can download it on their iPhone.

You’ve got everything going. The fashion line, the albums, the iphone app. You’re a freight train of industry. Keep it movin’ bro.

I’m an entrepreneur, man.

That’s the trap lord way, right?

No doubt.

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ASAPferg [Apr14]

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