With a much anticipated album on the way, a BMX/Skateboarding apparel & sneaker line with adidas, and latest release of his "New Level" music video feat. Future, A$AP Ferg has kept fans coming back for more proving over and over again, there's no stopping him. ESPN Music recently spoke with Ferg to talk music, touring and his undeniable respect for athletes worldwide.
Just last week, A$AP Ferg traveled through the east coast blizzard to make sure he'd make it to his hometown tour date in NYC. Much to his surprise, his fans had the same determination and dedication to make it to the show. Ferg told ESPN Music, "It's always good performing in my hometown. It's inspiring to show them what I've been up to - especially with my new show and all the visuals. It's always good for them to see me in that light and to see how professional I've gotten over time. They see growth and progression."
Known by many as the Trap Lord, Ferg recently paid homage to those in the sports world by incorporating athletes like Pro BMX rider, Nigel Sylvester, Cleveland Browns wide reciever, Josh Gordon, Olympian Fencer, Daryl Homer, and World Class Dancer, Andrew "Drew Dollaz" Boyce in his "New Level" music video. No stranger to music video directing, Ferg came up with the treatment and collaborated with Shomi Patwary to shoot the video. "I told him I wanted it to look like a big sports commercial because I wanted a way to pay homage to all the athletes." Ferg went on to say, "I've been hearing stories about how different football players and basketball players turn up to my music before going out there and playing. I just wanted a way to show them that i'm listening... that's my way of shouting ya'll out, ESPN, my whole sports family."
This got us wondering, why did he choose those specific athletes? Why not go the typical route and get the Kobe's and Lebron's of the world? Ferg gave us the scoop saying, "I just thought it'd be dope to cover across the board when it came down to the athletes in the video and add a little something new and different to hip hop that we haven't seen yet. They listen to my music. What they do is an element of sports that is very rarely seen in hip hop and I just wanted to showcase it." It also doesn't hurt that Josh Gordon and Nigel Sylvester are close friends with the A$AP Mob member. So having them in the video was a "no-brainer" according to Ferg.
This isn't the first time we've seen A$AP Ferg and Nigel team up for a video. Nigel Sylvester told ESPN Music, "Ferg and I are both kids from NYC following our hearts and pursuing our dreams. It's amazing that we get to collaborate on different projects and express ourselves. For example, Ferg was featured in my Go! NYC video then months later I'm able to be featured in his "New Level" video, it's a blessing." Check out Ferg's cameo in the first installment of Nigel's "Go!" series » 'GO!' | New York City
The two have been friends for years. Way before Ferg started rapping, he had an insane respect for Nigel telling us, "Before I even met him, I used to look at a bunch of his videos on YouTube and it was crazy because at that time, I wanted to be in the X Games. I wanted to be the next Dave Mirra but then when I see Nigel doing it in the streets, the same streets that I walk in Brooklyn and in Harlem. I was like damn he’s doing all these amazing tricks out here, I was like I gotta meet this guy. We’ve been cool ever since."
Growing up in Harlem, Ferg and his friends got into the bike culture early on, owning around four bikes of his own by the time he was 12. He expressed to us the positive impact he's seen BMX have on youth today: "The guys we grew up looking at like the Nigel Sylvesters, we’re seeing them progress and they’re pushing the culture forward. And when you have guys like me who want to do more with BMX culture, you get to see more equity coming towards the culture and it's providing more opportunity for kids. We used to ride just because it was fun but now you can actually ride to provide for your family."
Leave it up to Ferg to find a way to incorporate his love of BMX, fashion and music - and with his recent adidas Skateboarding collaboration for his Traplord collection he was able to accomplish just that. Ferg used the sneaker collection as another way to express the messaging that comes through in his upcoming album, Always Strive and Prosper. "A lot of people forget that I am a human being. I want to bring myself back down to earth and tell people: man, I had jobs where I got fired and I always had to strive and prosper to get where I am now." Ferg continued, "That’s the reason or one of the reasons I have that fire under me to really succeed in life. I just really want to show people my trials and tribulations of life and my rags to riches story."
A$AP Ferg teamed up with iconic producer DJ Khalil on Always Strive and Prosper which will feature artists like Missy Elliott, Chris Brown, DJ Mustard, and Ty Dolla $ign. He even has a song called "Beautiful People" featuring Chuck D and his grandmother!! Ferg left us with this:
"This is just an exciting, very personal album and I’m very proud of it. I honestly don’t know where I'm gonna go next because this album is basically baring everything. So it’s like I was a Trap Lord then, but now I’m morphing into the Hood Pope. Coming back to preach to my people and letting them know that this is possible."
Oh, and if you're like us and were wondering who Ferg will be rooting for this Sunday at Super Bowl 50... Panthers.