HipHopWired.com: Hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but you actually surprised a lot of people with how solid your debut album Trap Lord was. You have a lot of big features on Always Strive And Prosper. Are you looking to surprise again?
A$AP Ferg: I wasn’t trying to surprise anybody. I’m just a person who loves creating art. Whether it’s with different genres of music or experimenting within Hip-Hop, I just love to make music. I’m interested in pushing the culture forward. So when you hear me do that, that’s me just trying to bring something to this culture. When I created Trap Lord, that was a younger me, an aggressive me, a confused me. I was trying to figure out who I was. We gave you A$AP Rocky and he made his mark. Coming in second behind him, I was like, “Who am I going to be?” So, I sat back and saw that A$AP wasn’t in the clubs, so I said, I’ll be in the clubs. I am a more energetic person than the rest of the crew, I’ll do the wild stuff, I’m the partier. I make the music for that tone. When Ferg walks in the room, the party has started. You heard that on “Work” and “Shabba.” I kinda got set in those ways though. I was scared to give people Ferg, I was only giving them “trap lord.” But on this album, I’m giving you Ferg, my DNA, my history.
HHW: Yes. We definitely heard some experimentation with “Strive,” the song you have with Missy Elliot. Can’t say that is something we were expecting.
Ferg: I want to bring something new to the table. Sometimes music can feel like you’re going to the same restaurant. After a while you’re going to start asking, “When you gonna bring some new dishes out or add to the menu?” You can go to your reliable spot, but I consider myself an avant garde restaurant. My menu is going to be exciting all the time. I know how to curate a great atmosphere. If you want to go have a quick hit, go to the chinese restaurant. But if you want something special come to my place.
HHW: You worked with producer Da Honorable C.N.O.T.E. and Future on the first single “New Level.” On paper, that may look like a try at an instant hit. It wound up coming out sounding unforced and dope though. But can you see how one may think that isn’t “experimenting” but riding the “trap” wave?
Ferg: I think off rip, people know I’m not wave rider. I’ve never made a song that sounds like anything else out. All of my songs sound different from each other. The beat doesn’t sound like a “Down South” beat to me. It didn’t sound like a trap beat either. It actually reminded me of Batman when I heard it, very theatrical, very big. I didn’t have that song on the record yet when I finished it. I had the love songs and the innovative songs, but “New Level” was the big intro that I needed. And why not have Future on it? He is a great friend of mine. He’s brought me out at his shows, he was on Rocky’s album, he’s always been close to the family. I figured he would sound good on the song. I did the sung by myself before I gave it to him, and it was great. But he put cherry on top. And it’s a cherry on top that he’s one of the best out right now.
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