ASAP Ferg juggles the titles rapper-designer-painter with aplomb. He’ll be wearing his painter’s hat, among others, on Saturday night when his large-scale oil painting, introduced at the 2015 Art Basel Miami Beach, is auctioned at the inaugural A$AP Yams commemorative gala.
Cohosted by the ASAP Foundation, which stands for Always Strive and Prosper, and Columbia University’s department of psychology, the event is dedicated to A$AP Yams, who in 2015 died of an accidental drug overdose.
The death of Steven Rodriguez, aka A$AP Yams, at age 26 shocked New York’s hip-hop community. Credited with business acumen and vision, Yams helped guide the careers of Ferg and A$AP Rocky. He developed A$AP Mob, which included more than a dozen rappers, music producers and fashion designers.
The ASAP Foundation runs seminars for middle and high school students with recording and multimedia artists who advise the young people find their hidden talents. Proceeds from the gala and auction will be used to fund social media campaigns promoting realistic and judgment-free education and awareness of substance use and abuse.
Ferg, who was born Darold D. Brown Ferguson, Jr. in Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood, developed an early interest in fashion watching his late father, who owned a boutique in Harlem, print T-shirts and logos for record labels. While attending art school, he launched clothing and jewelry collections. Devoni clothing, which bowed in 2005, has been worn by Chris Brown, among others. Ferg’s new fashion label, Traplord, was launched in 2012. “Trap Lord,” his first solo album, came out the following year.
Ferg is a front-row fixture at Paris Fashion Week shows. At Dior’s January fall men’s collection with pal Rocky, who fronted a Dior Homme campaign, the two rappers sat with Karl Lagerfeld and Boy George.