Thu 30 Aug 2012
With the newly released debut ASAP Mob mixtape, Lord$ Never Worry, currently making its rounds around the Internets, VillageVoice did a massive profile on the rest of the crew. Sure, we all know everything about Rocky at this point, but what about the other members? Who is A$AP Ferg? And who is the kid with the birthmark?? I’m sure a lot of you are still asking yourselves these questions.
Check out the best questions and standout quotes from the interviews after the jump…
What’s up Yams? You’re credited with starting A$AP. Tell us about that.
Yams: Really me, A$AP Bari and A$AP Illz started A$AP. Me and Rocky own A$AP Worldwide. The label was salivating to sign a young, popping New York rapper so we were able to negotiate a label deal for ourselves, A$AP Worldwide.
So if you had to pick a Wu member that represented you within A$AP which member would it be?
Nast: I want to say Ghostface. He’s just one of the more consistent and relevant. I mean they’re all relevant, but Ghost is just always putting out new stuff. I want to say Ghostface, but I’m going to go with Ol’ Dirty Bastard. He just stood out so much. His style was so distinct. He stood out the most to me from the rest of the Clan.
What’s your position within A$AP?
Twelvy: I’m just like that young big homie. I’m in the middle as far as age so I can relate to everyone. We just help each, I hold shit down for my brothers. All they have to do is holler at me. When we’re out the country it’s me, Chace, Rocky, Yams and J. Scott. But if it’s in the States we bring the whole mob out.
What do you do outside of A$AP though?
J. Scott: Lots of things. I’m co-founder of imnotatoy.com, which began as a brand/site before Tumblr was popular. Me and my fam Sheed started it back in Atlanta. It’s a collective of thoughts that began as like an inside joke of pics, videos and .gifs we kind of posted for our own humor amongst each other and the word just kept spreading. We’ve done very rare merch pieces for the site. It has stepped into the realm of being something of an agency. It’s a like cult community the way we post and tag and execute things. There’s a lot more harmful fun coming from INAT, too.
And last but definitely not least, I’ve managed Kilo Kish from day one. She is a really close friend of mine., I began helping her when me, her, and [her bandmate/Ballers Eve/Imnotatoy family] Smash Simmons were all living together. A lot of big things are about to happen with Kish. It’s been really exciting to see how people are organically gravitating toward her. The songwriting I have heard from her, there’s really nothing comparable. She’s in her own lane.
A lot of people are saying you guys are too rowdy. Care to comment?
Ant: We don’t give a fuck about what people say usually, but that does scare away business ventures. You could lose possible endorsements like that. People seeing us jumping in the crowd, fighting… that will scare people away. People love rappers but they’re scared of us too. So it’s like, we just gotta be smart. We’re getting older. It ain’t like our moms can come get us at the precinct anymore or the shit gets expunged from out records.
Word. I was watching a Narduwar episode. Your dad designed the Bad Boy logo? Tell me about that.
Ferg: Yeah, he designed the Bad Boy logo for Puff and he did the Uptown Cat for Uptown records and Andre Harrell. He did a lot of early work for Phat Farm. He became one of those go to guys during his time within the industry. His name was D Ferg. He had a clothing line too called Ferg Apparel.
On understanding the music business: “I was just watching and doing a lot of observing. Dudes like Irv Gotti, J. Prince, Dee and Wah (Ruff Ryders), Tony Draper… I took their positive aspects and analyzed their fuckups and applied it to my game. Not to take anything away from any of them dudes. They’re geniuses.”
On first responses to A$AP Rocky:
We knew once “Peso” hit it would show that NYC culture. We had 30 young dudes on the corner shooting dice with 40s and Timbs, shots of Harlem. It was our New York.
On early music influences:
“The whole Bad Boy era of the late ’90s, Life After Death and No Way Out, that era influenced me greatly. Rocky and them are on some high-fashion shit, but I just keep it late ’90s.”
On the group dynamic:
“This may sound crazy or like exaggerated but we never fight. For real. We’re all pitching in to help Rocky with his album because he’s the most visible crew member. There’s no jealousy, though. We’re glad that he’s kicking down the door for the rest of us to come in and shine off our own shit.”
On Wu-Tang comparison:
“I kinda wish they would let us be us before comparing us to people, but I can’t be too mad if we’re getting compared to the greats.”
On finding music:
“We loved music. When we weren’t working or selling drugs or bullshitting we was writing rhymes in Rocky’s house.”
On linking up with A$AP and brotherly love:
“In 2008 I met Rocky in the street. I had a little bachelor pad and Rocky came though with some hoes to kick it. We just clicked from there. We didn’t even talk about music; it was all brotherly love. That’s how it was with all of A$AP.”
A$AP J. SCOTT:
On A$AP being deemed “drug music:”
“I feel that there is a certain feel to the music because of some of the production and lyrics at times, but I don’t see it as “drug music.” It’s overall hyped-up music but has smooth undertones that mellow you out andl that you can smoke and vibe to, you know? … I’ve never been high or on lean, but regardless the music just puts me in a certain zone.”
On working with Flatbush Zombies:
“It’s a good feeling working with them because it was a friendship first. It ain’t like rappers collaborating. It’s more genuine. And I love the fact that they’re starting to blow up. Makes us all stronger.”
On the crew’s rowdiness:
“People love rappers but they’re scared of us too. So it’s like, we just gotta be smart. We’re getting older. It ain’t like our moms can come get us at the precinct anymore or the shit gets expunged from out records.”
On Harlem culture:
“I want people to see our culture. Because New York City culture wasn’t being documented. There were a bunch of young kids who were doing fly shit and starting trends and people were swagger jacking. So I thought ‘Fuck just me. I wanna show EVERYBODY!’”
On meeting Rocky for the first time:
“We were just young kids and we were running Harlem. It was like pregame to what we’re doing now. Boat rides, fuckin’ all the girls. So we knew each through people. But then he started seeing me downtown, too, with an artistic crowd. He approached me one day like ‘We should do some music together.’ … But at that time I was designing clothing so I told him, ‘You do the rapping thing and I’ll catch up when the time is right.’”
On finding rap:
“In school we kept journals and my teacher let me write mine in raps or really it was like poetry. I would recite it in class. Some were for the girls, some were for the homeys to make them laugh.”
On “100 Million Roses” video:
“It was based on my pops’ passing. That’s why at the end of the video I’m walking with the cross. I’m not actually getting crucified in the video, I’m coming off the cross. So it’s like he’s reincarnated coming down and walking with the people through me.”
Read the full feature at VillageVoice
New Mixtape: ASAP Mob ‘Lord$ Never Worry’
ASAP Ferg – “Work” (Video)
ASAP Rocky – “Purple Kisses” (Video)
ASAP Mob Feat. Flatbush Zombies – “Bath Salt”
ASAP Rocky Announces ‘LongLiveASAP’ Fall Tour with Danny Brown & ScHoolboy Q