Three years after his Trap Lord debut, we're still getting to know A$AP Ferg. The boisterous Harlem hustler keeps introducing us to his many colourful sides, rousing us like a hood Deepak Chopra on his motivational Always Strive and Prosper and redefining the way we mourn on the A$AP Mob compilation, Cozy Tapes Vol. 1: Friends. Currently headlining his "Turnt and Burnt" tour, Ferg spoke with Exclaim! about his music, his sneaker partnership with Adidas and life on the road.
1. He's a neat freak.
Being away from home is no excuse to abandon your chores. While some artist's tour buses look like a cross between a weed dispensary and a compost heap, Ferg prefers immaculately clean surroundings.
"I can't have no junky tour bus," Ferg tells Exclaim! "My tour bus looks like a yacht, it's so nice. It's white inside and really clean and I don't have no problems coming through the border. Border patrol comes on the bus and there's no weed smell. It's got candles in the bathroom. It looks like a bunch of girls are on the bus."
2. He really loves his candles. Like, really.
Ferg becomes downright giddy when discussing scented candles. Too posh for a generic three-wick from the mall, Ferg's taste in candles has a more international flair.
"I went to Visvim in Japan to buy a book bag and loved the smell of the store. They had these candles burning, so I asked them what it was. I came home with Visvim candles just so my crib could smell like the store. You can only get 'em in Japan."
3. He's a travel nut.
While some find being away from home for months at a time to be arduous, Ferg finds something to love about almost every place he visits. The sunny weather in L.A., the chic mystique of Paris and the colourful graffiti in Berlin are what make these cities among Ferg's favourites.
But Japan seems to have his heart — and not just because of their high class candles. "I love the fashion culture out in Japan. It's almost like a religion. Hip-hop, fashion and art; they perfect it and master it. You're getting the best of everything over there."
4. He's a hands-on artist.
While some artists are content simply lending their name to a product, Ferg is very involved when it comes to his endeavours. Having already demonstrated a passion for fashion with his Devoni belt line, Ferg revisits his love for design with his sneaker partnership with Adidas.
"I'm not gonna put my name on anything that I didn't construct myself," says Ferg of his upcoming capsule collection, due in 2017. "I'm heavily involved in the creative process, from choosing the silhouette for the sneaker down to the cut of the pants. A lot of the times I use my own clothes as references for any project that I create."
5. Always Strive and Prosper almost got him in trouble.
Earlier this year, Ferg released his sophomore studio album, Always Strive and Prosper, on which he chose to employ a frank, autobiographical approach on songs like "Psycho," "Strive" and "Grandma." While he has no regrets about being more of an open book, Ferg admits that being so forthcoming with his private business took a toll on some of his personal relationships.
"When you put real family business out there, it comes back to bite you in the ass. In certain cases, it did. I have a lot of deep conversations with my family and let them know that it ain't to be harsh and there's no malice intended. It's music; it's art. It's how I express myself. I feel like that's what makes the music real."
A$AP Ferg plays Toronto on November 27, London ON on November 28 and Montreal QC on November 30.
Check out the video for "Back Hurt" ft. Migos below.