I caught up with A$AP Ferg, the young rapper from Harlem and member of the A$AP Mob, during his recent stop at San Diego’s House of Blues.
We talked about the obvious things like the excitement of his first tour -- opening up for Juicy J in 37 cities. Of course, we also talked about A$AP Rocky. Ferg jokingly explained that A$AP Rocky begged him to get into rapping. And he replied “no comment” to Rocky’s description of the recent XXL Freshmen cover as being “corny as f---.”
But, when I brought up the late Tex-Mex singer Selena reference in his song “A 100 Million Roses,” his eyes lit up and that’s when the interview really started. The chorus of the song is sort of Ferg’s last will and testament requesting 100 million roses at his funeral. Moreover, “A 100 Million Roses” pays tribute to both Selena and his late father Darold Ferguson, who owned a boutique and printed shirts and logos for record labels including Bad Boy Records, Teddy Riley, Heavy D and Bell Biv DeVoe.
Music. Community. Culture.
In the song, Ferg raps, "Rest in peace to Selena. I listen to you sing while I’m rolling my trees up." Hearing a dedication to the queen of Tejano music from an unlikely person like A$AP Ferg really piqued my interest. Surprisingly I didn’t have to dig too deeply because his respect for Selena just flowed from his mouth.
Dita Quiñones: I heard you have an admiration for Selena?
A$AP Ferg: She was a pop icon. I feel like people don’t give her as much respect as she deserves. So I’m here -- I’m the voice that [makes sure] her legacy is still living.
DQ: You’re from Harlem. How did you get exposed to the Tex-Mex music of Selena? You see the movie?
AF: I thought Jennifer Lopez was Selena at first … I was like a young kid and I saw this fly ass chick on the TV screen and then she died! I realized after doing some research on who this lady was that Jennifer Lopez was not Selena -- she just did a great job. I fell in love with the woman [Selena] herself.
DQ: Do you really listen to Selena’s music?
AF: And I f--- with her music. I do a Selena tribute every show. I do “Dreaming of You” for all my Selenas out there -- all my Latinas and that’s how I do.
DQ: I love the whole Harlem and Tex-Mex connect!
AF: She’s trill because she’s from Texas. A$AP is about the whole trill movement. So why not have the trill Latina [Selena] with you.
DQ: If Selena hadn’t of passed, J.Lo may not have had the outlet to be where she’s at now.
AF: I think that J.Lo had to be very inspired by Selena because I think that if that Selena was still alive she would’ve had to bridge the gap between Latino music and American -- which she did -- but I’m talking about as far as hip-hop and the urban communities she would’ve bridged those gaps. She would’ve linked up with Biggie when he was alive -- they probably would’ve went out. [Laughs.]
Dita Quiñones is a multimedia journalist born in Tijuana with a passion for Latin alternative and hip-hop music news. Her main goal is to uplift and inform her Latino and Hip-Hop community so that they get knitted into the fabric of American history. In addition to SoundDiego, Dita contributes to Latina, FOX News Latino, Poder, VidaVibrante, and HipHopDx. She is also the founder of the infamous music and politrix blog GN$F! Follow Dita on Twitter.