Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, you know the name A$AP Ferg. And how could you not? Aside from being part of hip-hop’s favorite super-group, A$AP Mob, the rapper has a clothing line, a brand new mixtape and an album on the way. If that weren’t enough, he also dropped his sophomore Adidas Skateboarding x Trap Lord collab, earlier today—and don’t forget the accompanying music vid.
Inspired by skateboarding and the mismatched looks of inner-city youth, Ferg’s Adidas line brings together the rebellious nature of skate culture with the no fucks attitude and realness of rap. Featuring shirts, sweats, hats and shoes, Adidas Skateboarding x Trap Lord is a reminder that streetwear can still be innovative—and actually cool.
BULLETT sat down with the rapper to talk about his new collection and what it means to have his name on a product. Read our interview and watch the “Nandos” video, below. Oh, and you can start buying the collection on September 5.
Tell me about the collaboration. What inspired it?
The clothing is really dope, and it’s inspired by retro windbreaker jackets and sweatpants from the early ‘80s. But it’s also inspired by the film, Children of the Underground, which is about these mole people and runaway kids who live in train station tunnels. Their style is very thrifty because they just pick out whatever they can find on the street and wear it, but it’s dope because it’s mix-and-match and really cool. You can really see that influence throughout the line—nothing matches. I also have the words from “Strive” on the laces.
How does this collab compare to your last one with Adidas?
I have more pieces in this one because they really gave me more options to actually design. I have a cap, a t-shirt, a jacket—I even designed and some sweats—so we’re playing with way more pieces, whereas before, it was just shoes and a shirt.
You’ve been called a ‘hands on designer.’ Why is it so important for you to be so involved in the process?
It’s important for me to be involved in the process because it seriously irks me when something is being put out with my name on it, and I feel no attachment to it. It doesn’t represent me—it waters down my brand and I have to live with that.
You have your socially conscious streetwear line, Trap Lord Uniform. What does that mean?
Socially conscious streetwear is basically the best way to describe what we do: a bunch of philanthropy work. Me being the creative director at Uniform, I went to Africa and put actual uniforms on kids backs. But half the funds also do that. So say you go into Bloomingdales and buy a Uniform collab Trap Lord t-shirt—that t-shirt is going to help you put a uniform on somebody’s back.
Aside from Children of the Underground, I know you’ve always been inspired by the creativity and style of inner-city youth. Where do you think that creativity comes from?
Fom me growing up on Basquiat documentaries and kids roaming the streets, and me being a kid roaming the streets myself. When you’re out there, you see and hear everything—railroad tracks and homeless people. And I always looked at them differently—I’d see homeless people and think, ‘They have a great jacket on,’ because they have the kind of old clothes you can’t get in the store anymore.
What’s it like working with a brand as legendary as Adidas?
The lineage is remarkable—you got Run DMC who paved the way for artists to do what we do now. So I think, by me being an artist and just doing it subconsciously, I’m continuing his legacy.. Also, Jam Master Jay’s son is my DJ—we often talk about how our dads would be proud and how we’re actually with the Adidas family, where it all started. So it’s dope to continue it.
Skate culture and hip-hop are very different, but they’ve overlapped a lot when it comes to streetwear. Why do you think that is?
I don’t think that they’re two different scenes—I actually think they’re one of a kind. Skaters listen to hip hop when they’re skating. But it’s all street culture, so it’s only natural.
Do you ever worry about the way your message will come across when working in fashion or with major brands?
That’s why I keep a tight grip on whatever I collab with, or whatever I put in my hands on. I go 110% always and indulge myself into whatever I’m doing at that point, because I don’t want to ever run into that problem. So I rarely get my words mashed up or my vision not being true—I am too much of a control freak for that. And I’m a perfectionist when it comes to the details and the picture I’m trying to paint with my collaboration.
What do you want people to take away from your clothes?
I want people to make the clothes theirs—that’s why I made it mismatched, because you can wear it with whatever you want. And I just want people to have fun with it.