ASAP Ferg Talks Yams' Inspiration for Art Basel, Traplord x Adidas & 'Tatted Angel' [Q&A]
A$AP Ferg is slowly coming down from an accomplishment high, and who could blame him? He recently showcased his artwork in Miami at Art Basel, released a successful collection (Traplord x Adi-Ease) with Adidas Skateboarding in November, and even dropped a preview of his first new track in over a year, "Tatted Angel." There was one common factor instilled within each of these projects: the late A$AP Yams. In an exclusive Q&A session with us, Ferg broke down why the death of his close friend and A$AP Mob co-founder inspired him to express himself in various outlets.
The 27-year-old Harlem MC is also prepping to kick off the new year in a big way with a 45-date world tour called When It's Dark Out alongside G-Eazy. His highly-anticipated sophomore album, Always Strive and Prosper, is also scheduled to hit shelves in early January 2016. Feel free to dust his shoulders off any time.
Monday night (Dec. 8), we sat down with A$AP Ferg before he hit the stage at Fancy.com's "The Fancy Run Up" retail pop-up store to perform a couple of his most popular singles. Check out some of the gems he revealed while we chopped it up on the couch below:
A photo posted by Music Times (@themusictimes) on Dec 8, 2015 at 8:37am PST
Morgan Murrell: On Sunday you made your Art Basel debut, displaying photography of A$AP Mob and a personal painting you created yourself. How was that experience?
A$AP Ferg: It was very, very dope! It was so surreal, because just last year I went out to Art Basel for the second time and shot a video out there. It was amazing! So I told myself, 'man we have to come back out here and do an event.' It was perfect timing, because we had the sneakers and all the stuff I'm doing with Adidas. They were just like, "Yo, you should do an art show." So I collab with Brock Fetch and he put some very rare old photos of the whole A$AP Mob. We ultimately sold the photos and gave all the profits to Yams' family.
We displayed the painting that I did of Yams with B-roll footage of the shoot that we did with Adidas on this big brick wall...it was crazy.
MM: Has painting always been a source of expression for you or is it a new skill you picked up?
AF: It's always been a form of expression for me. I went to Art & Design High School. My major was fashion and my minor was fine arts, so I was always painting. You know, my father also went to Art & Design High School and he taught me how to paint. I've been painting since I was a young lad.
I'm giving the painting I did of Yams to his mom. The painting is broken down into pieces and all of the different pieces that make up the painting, is inside the shoe on the sole. So everybody has a different part of the painting inside their shoe.
*Shout out to Swizz Beatz for doing his no commission art show, which was a huge success. I love when people do things that are innovative and push the boundaries for the culture period (art, music, whatever). I just love when we're able to do that, especially as a musician.
MM: Let's jump into this collaboration you have with Adidas Skateboarding. A$AP Rocky had his sneaker collaboration with them back in 2013, so did you initially want to bring your ideas to a different brand to do your own thing or did you want to keep adidas in the Mob family?
AF: It was always a "keep it in the family" type of thing, because they've treated us so nicely over the years. They've given us so many clothes for our tours and always called to check up on me. So, it was like ever since I met with Adidas --- 'Cuz I was going early on to meetings with Rocky, talking about his shoe and what he wanted to do with it and they kept their eyes on me.
They were like, "Alright let's see what Ferg got coming up and we could collaborate." The time was right; I have an album coming out and they love the brand Traplord, so they were like, "Let's do something." It was only right that I stuck with adidas.
MM: Can fans expect more collaborations with adidas in the future?
AF: Um...right now I'm just focusing on this album and what I have now with them. I'm living in the moment and celebrating this moment. We'll see though. Only time will tell.
MM: Speaking of your album, you recently dropped a snippet of the song "Tatted Angel." It sounded like you poured your heart and soul into the track, rapping about heartbreak and losing Yams. Was it hard to not only record the song, but also write it?
AF: No, writing it was actually therapeutic for me. It was hard to release it to the world. That was definitely the hardest part, just because it's so personal. I'm a very personal person and I feel like I owe my fans that. I want to give them more insight into my life, let them know what I'm thinking and what I've been going through these past two years.