In the hype and haze surrounding the timeframe between the viral success of ASAP Rocky's song "Purple Swag" and the release of Rocky's first mixtape, much of the internet's gaze was directed squarely at the flamboyant, charismatic young Harlemite. Yet, when his "Live.Love.ASAP" mixtape was released part of the limelight had shifted. Rocky continued to soar artistically and his popularity started to boil over into the mainstream to the point where he was collaborating with Rihanna and appearing on TV, but the launch of his first mixtape showed there were others with the "ASAP" prefix to their name who were worth watching. The most prominent of them all was ASAP Mob crewmember and fellow New Yorker ASAP Ferg, whose slinky, sinewy ode to codeine and promethazine on "Kissin' Pink" was one of the most ear-catching bits of Rocky's mixtape.
In the months that followed, more information regarding who the otherwise unknown ASAP Ferg was streamed throughout the internet, but nothing of much significance was leaked. There were some sporadic verses, the usual Twitter and Tumblr posts, and of course a part in an ASAP v.s. Nardwuar video. It wasn't until the release and subsequent explosion of his grandiose street-rap anthem "Work" that everyone was forced to pay attention to one of the "other" ASAP's.
"I knew it was going to be big once my friends started saying it a lot. When I play my songs to people and they memorize the hooks or certain lyrics I know that's the song I need to put out. I kind of knew it was going to be big already, and it breaking boundaries was kind of like mind boggling to me," Ferg says. "It went from me playing Pitchfork and the FADER fort and people knowing there song there to going to a club or a strip club in New York and them knowing the song there too. It was just breaking a lot of boundaries as far as racial boundaries and different cultures knowing the music."
From crowded, swampy strip bars on the East Coast to festival grounds on the West, Ferg's "Work" is one of those tracks that can be played at any time to incite everything from moshpit rioting to front-row jubilation. It's the type of crossover that's indicative of Ferg's style as a whole, which can constantly switch from menacing and rapid-fire to melodic and direct.