Getting to Know A$AP Ferg

Getting to Know A$AP Ferg

A$AP Ferg releases his latest album, four years in the making. It's a turn in a romantic new direction.

A$AP Ferg releases his latest album, four years in the making. It's a turn in a romantic new direction.

Photography: Ferry Van Der Nat

Styling: Kwasi Kessie

Text: Beatrice Hazelhurst

Thirty seconds into small talk with A$AP Ferg, aka the Trap Lord aka the Hood Pope, the rapper offers the opportunity to model his new merch. As fashion-forward as he is gregarious, Ferg is one of the most visible ambassadors of A$AP Mob, the internationally lauded hip-hop collective of Harlem creatives like A$AP Rocky, Joey Bada$$ and Playboy Carti, that he calls “family.” If the Mob is the heart of Harlem’s art scene, Ferg represents its most visible artery—which can be a lot of pressure. Ferg recently found himself on the precipice of giving it all up; he never envisioned a career as a famous rapper, and as such, label politics meant the artist felt as though he was “whoring [himself] out” in the interest of, essentially, his favorite hobby. But after multiple platinum records and recent maturation, the 30-year-old plans to finally return to his Renaissance-man roots.

Ferg wears Dior Men, Tiffany & Co. Jewelry

“I’m at the age where I am who I am,” Ferg says, chains jostling between bites of salmon. “I already proved that I can make it. I just never wanted to be a one-hit-wonder.” Now he’s resolved to do things his way. This year will mark the release of two years-in-the-making EPs boasting “sexy songs” with R&B overtones. “I felt like my image of myself had to grow in a different direction,” he says of the shift toward the romantic.

Ferg wears Y-3 Adidas, Tiffany & Co. Jewelry

It wasn’t long before he also caught fashion’s discerning eye. Tiffany & Co. recently tapped him as a face, and he now sits front row at Dior shows (not bad for a kid from Harlem who once lusted after Ralph Lauren Polos). However, these glowing endorsements only harshen the spotlight when other A$AP members step out of line, like A$AP Bari, who’s faced allegations of sexual assault. “Everyone’s entitled to be human and make mistakes,” Ferg explains. “A$AP is a label; we’re just a group of friends. [The associations can be] frustrating, but I [just stay as true] to myself as possible.”

Ferg wears Y-3 Adidas, Tiffany & Co. Jewelry

Ferg at 30 is an open book: from politics (“People think Kanye is crazy for hanging with Trump, but it’s like, he’s getting closer to get to what he’s actually doing...I looked at it like keeping your enemies closer”); to feminism (“Guys without female friends are rough. They’re brutes”). Whether he’s the benevolent Trap Lord, the hustler extraordinaire Hood Pope, or the multi-talented, multi-hyphenate Darold Ferguson Jr., A$AP Ferg knows exactly who he is. “I’m proud of the way I think,” Ferg says after a long pause, before chuckling: “And I’m proud of who I am.”

Credits: Makeup Ayami Nishimura, Grooming Jomo Kenyatta, Digital technician Sara Lewis, Photo assistant Garth McKee, Stylist assistant Kah Li Haslam, Location Root Brooklyn

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