A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg spoke with the Hot Morning Crew backstage at the Under The Influence of Music tour, and the Harlem rappers talked about Ferg’s upcoming mixtape Trap Lord, the future of the A$AP Mob, and how their Moms are their biggest critics.
Were you meant to be a rapper?
Ferg: God has his ways of just putting things in front of you, different paths. I don’t know what I’m gonna do, I’m just here to express myself, and music is something I like to make, so it can be my calling.
Were you both “A” students in school?
Ferg: Yeah, but school would get boring to me, so I’d just go on my own and cut class.
Rocky: I was capable of being an “A” student, because I remember one year I got focused. I was on my s*** one year, my Pops was on me– I got into some trouble, and he moved me out to Pennsylvania for a year. I’m not gonna lie, I was always coming up Fourth Period, I’d come to school Third Period, sometimes lunch. We used to sell weed all day just to go shopping and show off our clothes.
Did you always know you’d be successful at music? When did you know this is what you were going to do?
Rocky: I always hoped to make it. With “Purple Swag,” I said “It’s a chance.” “Peso,” I was like “We’re gonna make it!” When that dropped, it was a different reaction, everybody was about to see something they never saw before, we were about to feel something big.
Ferg: You could just tell from the vibe that you got, I just felt real productive at that time. Rocky was always productive but it was a new level. Seeing all types of people coming around, helping us, I felt like, damn, people are really believing in us like that. That’s when I felt like we were coming up.
Did you have a lot of non-believers?
Ferg: My Mom was like “What are you doing, rapping?” I was not making no money, I had no job, I had nothing. I felt like Biggie or something– Mom was about to kick me out of the house!
Rocky: My Mom wasn’t tripping on me like that, [she] used to give me my space to do what I need to do. I’d tell her “Mom I’m working on this new album” and when I used to go to the studio she used to go with me.
You had a lot to live up to because your Mom was a huge hip-hop fan
Rocky: She was disappointed for me dropping out, so I had to compensate so I tried to stay busy. As long as I was doing something positive– even if it was music, talking about getting high, smoking weed and stuff– as long as it wasn’t killing or stealing, she didn’t mind.
Ferg: My Mom supports now, she sees everything happening.
Rocky: I’ve got an ill story about me and his Mom. When we were younger, I don’t know why but Ferg told me to say hello at the wrong time. I guess they were chilling, and they didn’t want anybody bothering them. So I walked in and said “How y’all doing, I’m Rocky. I’m one of Ferg’s best friends, I’m gonna make your son rich some day.” They were like “Okay, hello, alright.”
Ferg: They were like “Don’t tell ME you’re gonna make MY son rich– He’s gonna go to school!”
Rocky: They didn’t want to hear none of that. I don’t know what gave me the balls to do it, but I just knew I was gonna do it, because I always believed in him. I always knew that Ferg was gonna be big– maybe even bigger than me– because Ferg has so much talent. Not only is he an artist for music, he paints, he draws, he designs… He’s creative, and I always admired that. I always wanted to work with people that were creative and moving forward with things. I felt like what we could do one time, we should repeat, so the creative juices had to flow.
Ferg, we got the turnt up record with “Work,” “Shabba” is a big party record. What side of Ferg are we gonna see when Trap Lord drops?
Ferg: You’re gonna see Trap Lord, Fergenstein, A$AP Ferg, and Fergie Vicious [laughing]. I took Sid Vicious’ name and turned it into my name. You’re gonna see some wavy stuff, I’m trying to make music from my dreams. I was trying to make my own genre during this album, I wanted something that would give people a breath of fresh air.
Rocky: My aspect from listening to it, I feel it fits the A$AP catalog, but it’s its own kind of wave. It’s not like me, I think that was people’s biggest concern, that everybody was gonna have the same style. But everybody has different kind of personalities and it reflects within their craft.
Ferg is his own individual, his music is sounding crazy. It was just yesterday I was coming out, and I have Ferg here for a reason. We know what it’s like when we were broke together, I ain’t the boss of this man [Ferg], this man ain’t the boss of me. We’re eating together.
There’s no competition? Or do you just push each other to be better?
Rocky: Of course, there’s always competition, I’m competing with all my brothers. You have to, that’s how you stay hungry.
Ferg: I wrote my verse THREE TIMES, after I heard [Rocky’s] verse and Schoolboy Q’s verse on “Work.” I was like “Listen, I’m not gonna let these guys bother me.” It’s just friendly.
Rocky has a new album coming, Ferg has his debut… who’s next up from the A$AP Mob?
Rocky: The way I wanted to structure A$AP, I wanted everybody to come out… I throw it up, [Ferg] throws it up, Nast, Twelvyy… til somebody comes through and makes the grand finale pop, and slam dunks it. That’s how I’m looking at it, like a basketball game– we’re just training, it is practice.
I’m happy to contribute to music, to what’s going on, but sometimes I feel like people don’t really appreciate what’s going on in hip-hop today. A lot of artists aren’t getting the shot they deserve, a lot of underground artists, the best out there, aren’t getting the shot they deserve. We were privileged and blessed enough to be here today, because we come from the same background as those dudes who’ve been around before us.
Everything we’re doing with A$AP is strategic, everything is premeditated, nothing is by mistake. We know what we’re doing, if you don’t f*** with us, just watch us do us, and that’s that, man.
–Bill Sencio, Hot 93.7/ Hartford