With a hot association (A$AP Rocky's A$AP Mob) and a hit of his own ("Work"), rapper A$AP Ferg is on the cusp of a big breakthrough.
And the New York MC isn't taking that for granted as he prepares for the early summer release of his first album, "Trap Lord."
"I feel blessed, man," says Ferg (real name Darold Ferguson, Jr.), who's been on the road with Rihanna and Drake in addition to his current tour with Juicy J. "It's like a crazy kickoff for me, because I'm a new artist and I"m getting embraced by a lot of the greats.
"So I'm blessed to have these people do it before me so they could kind of be my blueprint. I'm proud to have Rocky as a brother, an older brother just to guide the way. And even people like (Detroit's) Danny Brown, who really schooled me on a lot of things he did coming up."
The irony of Ferg's success is he never intended to be a rapper in the first place. Though he "was always good with putting words together," he initially gravitated towards fashion; his father made clothing and accessories for a who's-who of rap and R&B stars and Ferg attended an art and design magnet high school in New York. But after teaming with Rocky on a 2010 mixtape and viral hits such as "Get High" and "Ghetto Symphony" and the subsequent "Long.Live.A$AP" album, Ferg changed his mind.
"I even told Rocky at one point that, 'Man, I don't believe in this rapping thing. I'm gonna keep doing my clothes,' " recalls Ferg, 24. "I thought that was my destiny, and it still might be. But I just know that materials cost a lot of money. I used to make these leather belts that cost $100 to make, just the materials. So my overhead was high.
"And rapping, you don't need nothing but just an engineer to record you and mix your music and you're good. People seemed to like what I did, so I figured I'd go that way for a while, and so far it's all good."
A$AP Ferg is part of the Stay Trippy Tour with Juicy J, Up in the Sky and Gueringer the 13th on Tuesday, May 21, at the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 day of show. Call 248-758-9770 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
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