With a platinum single and sold-out tour, A$AP Mob frontrunner is in a good place
The weather on Canada’s west coast reminds A$AP Ferg of his home city New York. “Today, it’s dreary, it’s rainy outside,” he says over the phone while on a Vancouver tour stop, his voice reflecting the weather. Though he’s hesitant to select a favourite song off the recently released A$AP Mob project, Cozy Tapes Volume 1: Friends — “I like different songs for different reasons” — if he had to choose one today, he’d go with Nast’s Song “Nasty World” because of the rain. “It changes by the day. I don’t think I really have a favourite,” he adds.
That may be, but he’s making his way onto a lot of people’s favourites lists these days. Ferg is in a good spot, right now, selling out shows on his North American Turnt and Burnt tour alongside Rob $tone and Playboi Carti. Over the course of the last few years, the Harlem-native released two albums, which included the platinum-selling song “Work Remix”, and is working on a third full-length, called Stay Striving. More importantly, he’s grown a lot with the very people he came up with — the beloved A$AP Mob — despite the loss of their friend, mentor and founder, A$AP Yams, to whom Cozy Tapes is a tribute.
HOW DID WORKING ON COZY TAPES VOL. 1 DIFFER FROM WORKING ON LORD$ NEVER WORRY?
It wasn’t too different. The only difference is, some of us, our schedules are a little more crazy [now]. Like, some of us were on tour, so we had to work out times where we could get together and actually work, but besides that, there was nothing really different about it.
WHICH FEATURE ON THIS TAPE IS YOUR FAVOURITE?
I like Tyler [The Creator]’s verse. He ripped that. I like me, [A$AP Ant] and [A$AP] Twelvyy’s song, “Young N***a Living,” and [A$AP] Nast’s song [“Nasty’s World,” feat. Onyx] is crazy.
I see the growth, sonically. I think about where we came from, you know, where we’re at right now.
GIVEN THAT THE TAPE WAS A TRIBUTE TO A$AP YAMS, WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING ON IT?
It was just a lot of thinking about him and remembering him and laughing and jokesing … ’Cause we kind of really had to tap into his mind for his aesthetic. The whole Cozy Boy thing, that’s him, that’s what he started. And just going through his ideas and just thinking what he would love in life, we just wanted to stay true to him, so, we would think a lot of his aesthetic and things like that.
HOW DO YOU FEEL WHEN YOU LISTEN TO THE PROJECT?
It feels good. I see the growth, sonically. I think about where we came from, you know, where we’re at right now. I think about these different features that we didn’t have on the first mixtape, that we have now. It’s just a lot of reflecting and thinking about the growth.
I READ SOMEWHERE THAT IT WAS JUST A$AP ROCKY CURATING THE FEATURES. WAS IT JUST HIM? OR DID EVERYBODY GET TOGETHER AND BRAINSTORM ON WHICH FEATURES TO GET?
Rocky was the front-man for the whole tape. He kind of was the guy to put the whole project together. ’Cause, like I said, all of us were touring. [A$AP] Twelvyy was on tour, [A$AP] Nast was in Europe on tour, I was on tour, so he was like the front-man to kind of bring everybody together and be like, “All right, this is how we’re running it.” He played the captain.
HOW DO YOU FEEL A$AP MOB HAS GROWN AS A COLLECTIVE SINCE THE VERY BEGINNING?
We’ve grown a lot. All of us got our own. I’ve got a platinum selling song, which is “Work Remix” (featuring A$AP Rocky, French Montana, Trinidad Jame$ and ScHoolboy Q) and both of my singles went gold. As a collective, we all grew. Like, we’re all doing our own things. We’re all touring, making money.
I’ve got way more to me now. I’ve been travelling, I’ve been learning, I’ve been taking in the world, so I have a lot more to speak about.
SPEAKING OF THE “WORK REMIX”, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT HOW BIG IT’S GOTTEN?
It’s definitely a blessing. It went way further than I thought it would go. I didn’t even imagine how far it would go. It just took on a life of its own. I’m just happy to be a part of it.
HOW DID GROWING UP IN HARLEM INFLUENCE YOUR MUSIC?
It gave me the style. It gave me the confidence, because Harlem is really flamboyant and loud in a way where it’s like ‘look at me.’ It gave me the courage to go out there and be who I was supposed to be to the industry and to the world.
ON “LET IT BANG,” YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR UNCLE A LOT. TELL ME ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM.
Me and my uncle have a really good relationship. He’s in like three of my videos. He’s on my album. My uncle Psycho is a character. He’s dope. He reminds me of O.D.B. (Ol’ Dirty Bastard). Like he reminds me of a Wu-Tang [Clan] member. He’s just dope and I use him as a muse again and again for a lot of songs and different albums.
YOU BLEW UP VERY HEAVILY, SO DID A$AP ROCKY. WHO’S NEXT FROM A$AP MOB TO BLOW UP THAT BIG?
I think [A$AP] Twelvyy. Twelvyy’s coming with it. I think Twelvyy’s got a lot of music, he’s on tour. I think he’s ready. He’s found himself to a certain extent. Enough to put his sound together and want to put his music out. I think he’s really confident at this point.
YOUR LAST ALBUM, ALWAYS STRIVE AND PROPSER, IT WAS A PROJECT THAT YOU SAID WAS VERY HONEST AND YOU PUT YOUR ALL INTO IT. CONSIDERING THAT, WHAT’S YOUR NEXT MOVE IN MUSIC?
It was my all at that time. I’ve got more. There’s more to me than my all last year, or a few months ago. So, I’ve got way more to me now. I’ve been travelling, I’ve been learning, I’ve been taking in the world, so I have a lot more to speak about. My perspective on things is different, it’s constantly changing. So, I’m going to put my all into another project … Still Striving should be out really soon. It’s like a continuation of Always Strive and Prosper.
YOU’RE PLAYING IN VANCOUVER TONIGHT. IT’S SOLD OUT. HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR SHOWS?
I pray. I just make sure I’m amped, I got some rest. I don’t eat before a show, (laughs). Because I don’t want my stomach messing with me. And I just go out there and do what I do. I rehearse a lot. I’m very calculated on steps and just my approach to performing. It’s not really a surprise, the only surprise there is, is just different energy and I believe that Vancouver is going to bring the crazy energy, tonight.
Photos courtesy of Sony Music Canada