The Playlist: A$ap FergThe 26-year-old rapper talks us through some of the tracks that have influenced his career, plus his own musical milestones.
New York’s A$AP Ferg embodies a new prototype in rap music. He and his Harlem collective A$AP Mob, led by head honcho A$AP Rocky, are not only changing the face of the genre by injecting trippy left-field beats into mainstream hip-hop, they’ve also made a successful foray into the world of high fashion. Ferg recently teamed up with menswear designer Astrid Andersen to write the soundtrack for both her spring/summer 2016 catwalk show and a custom fashion film, Water, in which he also appears. The Red Bulletin asked the 26-year-old rapper to talk us through some of the tracks that have influenced his career, plus his own musical milestones.
A$ap Ferg: “Work”
“I got into writing poetry as a kid, because I could recite it in front of the classroom and I knew it would make all the girls smile. It was just for fun at first, up to this song, which started my career. This was my first piece of music that resonated with people all around the world. I think that’s because I spoke a lot of truth about my father, who died: ‘See my daddy in heaven, he be the realest G …’ ”
DMX: “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem”
“I get nostalgic every time I hear this track, because it reminds me of my youth. I was about 10 years old when it came out. My friends and I, we would ride through Harlem on our bikes, doing wheelies like the guys in the music video and reciting the lyrics. DMX’s style was innovative at the time. Regardless of what he’s doing now, he planted the seed in me and helped me find my own voice.”
Mary J Blige: “You Remind Me”
“In the ’90s, my father designed logos for big hip-hop labels such as P. Diddy’s Bad Boy Records. So he had all the new CDs that came out. This was one of the first songs from his collection that really resonated with me when I was growing up. I love the music video, where the girls are wearing baggy jackets and cool kneepads. It was the first time that I saw hip-hop and style coming together.”
A$ap Rocky: “Peso”
“Rocky and I have known each other since we were teenagers. He was always very talented, but he created a totally new genre with this song. The way that he pitched down the vocals sounded completely fresh. In the music video we wore black high-fashion clothes mixed with streetwear. It was a monumental time, because I felt like we were doing something big. Turns out I was right.”
A$ap Ferg: “Dope Walk”
“One recent song that’s had an impact on my career is my current single. It has the line ‘My walk meaner than Cara Delevingne’s,’ which sparked a fun battle on Twitter between her and me, and then we decided to shoot a FaceTime video together. In the video, I show her the ‘dope walk,’ which is when you see dope heads winding off into dreamland and then they wake up and jump up.”