It’s April 20, otherwise known as 4/20, the national weed smokers’ holiday. An excuse to party on a school night, today was the Dopeland skate jam presented by Doperoots and Traplord. This was an attempt to bring the NYC roots to downtown L.A. What better way to celebrate than with good music, skateboarding, some barbeque, and a performance by A$AP Ferg?
HipHopDX arrived on the scene in the late afternoon to find the Traplord himself up on the rooftops in all white sweatsuit. With the beautiful sun setting in the backdrop, the phrase “Issa Vibe” couldn’t have been more fitting. After Ferg catered to his fans, signing autographs, taking pictures and observing the skateboard action, we head downstairs to a private room for some peace and serenity.
Quickly joined by Ferg’s DJ TJ, the conversation began with Ferg reminding everyone surrounding that he does not smoke weed, but still enjoys the day.
“See I don’t smoke weed, but I know that weed brings people together internationally,” he explains. “So that’s what it means to me. A bunch of friends getting together, getting the munchies. … There’s not a reason I don’t smoke. My getaway is lyrics and music. Some people smoke to calm themselves down or relax. If I want to relax, I probably just sip some wine and do some music. That’s how I relax.”
While Ferg may not partake, leave it to the A$AP Mob to pick up his slack.
“I got enough smokers in my crew, so I probably have secondhand smoke by any means,” he admits.
And he also leaves it to others to do the skateboarding at his event.
“I wish I knew how to skateboard, but I’d probably kill myself,” he laughs. “And wouldn’t be able to perform for y’all, so I’m not going to do that.”
Because Nicki Minaj recently dropped her “No Frauds” music video, fans were wondering if A$AP Ferg’s single “East Coast” with Remy Ma had him supporting one over the other amid their beef.
“[Nicki’s] from New York. Remy Martin is from New York,” he says. “I still call her Remy Martin. Nicki’s from New York. It could have been either one of them [on the track], honestly. … I can’t take no sides. It’s like both cousins.”
That New York blood carries Ferg everywhere he goes, even out here in the City of Angels.
“I’m always reppin’ New York and Harlem,” he says. “Most of my videos I’ve ever shot is in Harlem. I can’t help it. I just grew up in a place that I love so much, to the point where it’s like, I see beauty on every corner. I see a crack in the street with a little plant growing out of it and I be like, ‘Oh, let’s shoot here. Let’s do this, let’s do this, let’s hit this corner. Oh we didn’t go to Broadway yet. Let’s get all the Dominicans that’s on Broadway. Oh let’s go to Amsterdam, get all the black people that’s on Amsterdam.’
“It’s a whole culture that I feel like people never get enough of. And we don’t have enough footage on it. So I just want to display it to the world.”
Ferg also provided an update on A$AP Mob’s Cozy Tapes Vol. 2, the highly-anticipated follow-up to Cozy Tapes Vol. 1.
“We got some stuff we boiling up right now,” he says. “Everything is getting mixed.”
Besides music, A$AP Ferg reveals he’s using his platform to give back to the community as he shares a quick recap of his recent trip to Africa.
“Africa was amazing,” he says. “I went to Liberia. I was putting kids in uniforms. Shout out to Uniform, I’m doing a Traplord collaboration with them that y’all should be seeing real soon. And each piece of garment that we sell will be a uniform on a kid’s back in Liberia.”
With new music out in May and an official creative director title at @shopuniform, @asapferg is making 2017 a year of breaking ground and, perhaps more important, giving back. His latest collaboration, @officialtraplord x @shopuniform, includes 10 pieces, all of which retail for under $200 and benefit children in need. "The aesthetic of Traplord was built on the fact that I didn’t have anything," Ferg notes. "I want these kids to know that they are lords and that they can become the highest of the high." Tap the link in our bio for the full story and your exclusive first look at the limited-edition streetwear capsule. Photographed by @arnold_daniel.
Stay tuned for Still Striving, A$AP Ferg’s follow-up to Always Strive and Prosper.