In a seriously competitive year in rap (Kendrick! Kanye! Drake! Future, twice!), A$AP Ferg's Always Strive and Prosper goes hard. The sophomore LP is the 27-year-old's first release since the death of A$AP Mob leader Yams, which colored the whole project.
"We lost a soldier, one of the biggest generals, in A$AP—A$AP Yams, rest in peace," Ferg told Fuse in the interview above. "So I just felt like I was bringin' it back to, y'know, square one." The follow-up to 2013's Trap Lord is surprisingly personal and emotional, which Ferg confirmed was intentional. Watch the video above to learn more.
Below, watch A$AP Ferg talk about Always Strive and Prosper's collaborations, which include Future, Skrillex, Rick Ross, Big Sean and Missy Elliott. "It's like a dream, meeting this woman," he said of Missy, admiring her uncompromising innovation in the worlds of fashion, music and videos. Their spectacular collaboration, "Strive," almost became the whole album title.
Find out what Ferg thought when he found out Missy was a fan, what he learned from Michael Jackson's process and how Chris Brown got him singing on record—and hear his idea for a Taylor Swift collaboration—below. You can get Always Strive and Prosper on iTunes and stream it here.