Complex | The Neighborhood

A$AP Ferg Gives Complex A Tour of Harlem

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Asap Ferg:

This is my hood man, I get love from my hood, like I'm not afraid any where I go. You can't live your life being afraid, if my life got taken tomorrow then it's meant to be. Like that ain't the worst thing that can happen, then this little nigger going to take over, and then he's going to take over, and then whoever else is around me is going to take over. And it's not about me. I'm just here, the physical contribution to the hood. Yeah, this is where I'm from, like this is my block, 143rd between Amsterdam and Broadway, Hamilton, they call it hungry Ham because everybody over here go to Ham for their hungriness. This is where we shot Pesos, and Rocky was coming out the door like, I'll be that pretty mother, you know what I'm saying? And Tye Beats, with his big old head, was coming out the door. Yeah, there's a lot of history being made on this corner right here.

And then you had, like my pops,

he used to live in the red building down there, like that's where my moms met him and shit. He was getting his ones up, seen a fine little pretty thing walking down the block, hollered at her, and you know that's how I came about. Yo, what's good, bitch?

Speaker:

Yo we going to put them in the dirt. Asap Ferg: Kids don't do that shit, that's hood shit right there. Alright so we on 143rd and Hamilton, we call this the island, there's a little triangle is shaped like a little island in the middle of the two streets at the intersection. And this is where I shot A Hundred Million Roses and shit, I was drinking that Bugard and I got so fucked up I was just on a cross like this shooting the whole video. It was crazy, like my barber came outside, he stopped cutting hair cause he thought I was dying. My mother was looking outside of the motherfucking window to make sure I was Okay. I was just out here bro. Cuts and bruises like I was from 300.

Alright this guy right here

is J West, my brother, he's been there through thick and thin, and this is my heart. For real.

J West:

Well we met actually when I was in high school, so it was one of those things that was like, we were both creative and just clashed and just became brothers like through the years. Up front here I'd be painting and back there D would be like screen printing and making shirts, and then we'd probably switch roles, when he was tired of printing and stuff like that I'd go back there and do some shirts and he'd be helping me with paintings. So it was always a creative environment, you know what I'm saying, and we were down here until the wee hours of the morning just doing everything, spray painting, my moms coming down the stairs talking about the fumes and stuff. Asap Ferg: Well, art was my first love and it still is my first love. Music is just a different expression of art, that I can create sonically now. I used to take the Thank You Come Again signs from off the street when they put them outside of like bodega stores, and I used to rip them out the wall, like unscrew them out the wall, and just take them home and paint them, put them back inside the frame and put it back outside the stores.

J West:

He's always been like super creative so I never pull his teeth about any visions, he usually comes to me with a lot of visions, and it's like yo this is crazy, it's never like a compromise, so we work well creatively together.

Asap Ferg:

I'm good at doing this shit, like at anything I do, but when we put our minds together it just becomes better.

J West:

So much more magical. Asap Ferg: Yo, what Mr. Rimson told you in school?

J West:

He old me like yo, you know when your moms try to give you these directions or force you in away, she's got to understand that your story is your story, and you got to do it how you do it. Asap Ferg: Our mothers think that we don't give a fuck about nothing like.

J West:

Yeah. And before everything popped they always had that idea like they're going to do what they want, like I got to stop trying to force them in this direction, we've just been relentless about this you know, we had a crazy determination and it's not letting up.

Asap Ferg:

I'm into like stuff that evokes emotion. I love music but it's like a job now, for me. This is how I've got to support myself, so for me to go back and paint is like an escape from my job. Hey yo we're about to go to my school, our lady of Lords, Lords never worry. There was a girl I had a crush on named Stephanie, and I remember we used to get free dress day because we used to have to wear a uniform all the time, we used to have to do Mass like every Thursday, and I remember we did Mass and I wore my Cool G pants, and all the teachers, my gym teacher was like, oh those cost a lot of money, cause you know Cool G is like 5, 6 hundred dollars for a pair of pants. My pops got them for me, I wore them in church, and she just kept touching my pants, she's touching my leg and I was like oh, she likes me. There used to be a bunch of little bitches I used to like in there I remember that shit. Not the nuns. I never did first communion or nothing like that, but we had to study religion, my mother was not a church going woman, she believes in God but she don't go to, my mother do not leave the house. I had to force her to come to our video shoot yesterday. Like French Montana, all these big people, she say French Ma-who? I always got the staring, she never been to one of my shows. She's only going to see me perform when I get to the Grammys or some shit like that. Like my teachers used to get mad test papers, with mad doodling and Dragon Ball Z characters on them. I used to draw on the desk, that's some artistic shit. I used to draw on the desk in this school, but like nothing about this school sparked nothing about my artistic process. This, this, this didn't do nothin', I'm sorry I just went to this school so I'm explaining about how it was, that's all. Yes, I'm an alumni.

Speaker:

Especially when there's alcohol...

Asap Ferg:

Oh, that wasn't even ours. You see me, greet me like you fam, not a fan.


In the latest episode of Complex TV's The Neighborhood, A$AP Ferg takes us through Harlem. He starts off on his block, 143rd between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave, at the Alexander Hamilton Playground or "Hungry Ham" as he calls it.

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