Halloween is different in New York City. Instead of going from house to house, kids go bodega to bodega to get candy. But that doesn’t make the experience any less memorable. Growing up in Harlem, rapper A$AP Ferg still fondly recalls getting dressed up and having parties in his apartment building. The fact that his birthday falls close to Halloween only added to the festive spirit.
This year, Ferg’s Halloween will be a little bit different. He’ll be in the house at the Kenzo Digital x Bacardi Nocturnal Awakening on Saturday, which is basically like the craziest haunted house you can imagine except that celebrities will also be having the shit scared out of them. Ferg and the rest of the A$AP Mob will also be dropping another treat on Halloween: the new mixtape Cozy Boys Vol 1.
With such a strong tie to the holiday, it was a good time to catch up with Ferg to talk about what Halloween was like growing up, his costume for this year, and where the A$AP Mob style comes from.
What was Halloween like for you growing up?
It was cool. When I was around 7-8 years old, we would do these building parties where all these kids from the neighborhood would come to my building dressed up in their costumes. They’d come by with all the candy that they went and got from the bodega. When I was around 10, I started selling my candy back. I’d go trick or treating in my building and then two days later I’d make a business selling my candy.
Were you always big into dressing up for Halloween?
My birthday is around Halloween. It’s Oct. 20. One year I wanted to wear my Batman costume on my birthday because I couldn’t wait until Halloween. My mother told me that I cried and cried because she had three outfits for me but I just wanted to wear my Batman outfit.
What era of Batman did you come up on?
I forget the name, but I was into the Batman cartoon when I was a kid. It was more sleek looking. I was into the cartoon before I could watch the movies. I would always draw Batman. I remember Cartoon Network put out a big ad trying to get new people to illustrate Batman. I remember trying to draw stuff and my mom brought home the information for me to send it in.
What are you going to wear for Halloween this year?
I want to be Chucky. I’ve got my overalls already. I’ve got the polo striped shirt that goes under it. I gotta put some holes in my shirt to give it some character. Then I’ve just got to get my stitched face and my makeup done. I’ll probably do red hair. That would be fun. I’m going to have my earrings and my diamond teeth in and all my jewelry. I’ll be like the trill Chucky.
Are you a big fan of horror movies?
I was big on Saw and Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Candyman when I was younger. I liked that Chainsaw Massacre was a true story, that there was actually somebody out there with a leather face made out of human skin. As an adult I like the Hannibal Lecter movies. Hostel was good, too.
The entire A$AP Mob is known for its bold style. How did that develop?
We’re confident. We come from harlem. I was traveling a lot as a child and I’m pretty sure that affected me in some type of way. I would see the goth kids and their style and their jewelry and things like that. I was just around different environments.
How do you figure out what you’re going to wear each day?
It goes according to how I feel. Today I woke up and I really didn’t want to get dressed because I was lazy and tired. I went into my closet and grabbed the first pair of jeans that I saw. Then I wanted some boots that would style on ‘em. I saw a Timberland box and I just grabbed what was in that and thought “These are fresh.” I threw the boots on and then I just got this Turnt and Burnt tour merch, so I grabbed a t-shirt that was on the chair. Then I threw on my Alexander Wang coat that I got. It actually came out pretty fly.
How do you feel about all the good hip-hop tour merch coming out right now?
I feel like the days of rappers with clothing lines is coming back. It’s like when Jay Z had Rocafella and Nelly had Vokal and Puff Daddy had Sean John. Merch has always been a thing. That’s always been a big part of the hip hop community. It’s just that now people are getting so fashion forward they really appreciate the garments now.
What else are you working on right now?
I’m working on Still Striving, which is going to be an online album. I’m really really excited about that. It’s a continuation of Always Strive And Prosper, the album I just put out. It’s going to be remixes and a lot of additional songs that didn’t make that album and new songs that I’m still working on. We should be launching that really really soon. Also we have Cozy Boys Vol 1 mixtape that is going to drop on Halloween. That’s with the whole A$AP Mob and everybody has been waiting for that. Finally you guys get to have it.