How Michael Jackson Inspired A$AP Ferg's New Album

The "King of Pop" led the A$AP Mob rapper to work with ScHoolboy Q, Future, Skrillex and more.
Rapper A$AP Ferg performing at Lollapalooza 2016
A$AP Ferg at Lollapalooza © Joe Gall/Red Bull Content Pool
By Elliott Sharp

A$AP Ferg, of Harlem rap group A$AP Mob, dropped his "Always Strive and Prosper" album earlier this year. It features tons of special guests, including Future, ScHoolboy Q, Skrillex, Rick Ross, Chuck D, Big Sean and Ty Dolla $ign. It's an all-star album, but that's not how the project started.

Before his performance at Lollapalooza, A$AP Ferg sat down with Red Bull TV host Sal Masekela to talk about the origins of "Always Strive and Prosper." Ferg said the album started out with no features. But then, after being inspired by Michael Jackson and Teddy Riley, he decided to remake the album and pack it full of special guests.

"I didn't have any features on my album — and I learned this from Michael Jackson and Teddy Riley," Ferg explained. "Teddy Riley was working on Michael Jackson's album, and they got through the whole album and Michael Jackson said, 'I love the album, now let's just remix it.' Because the remixes is always better than the original song, so that's what I did with my album."

"I was like, 'I love this album, it's a masterpiece, but how can I make it better?' The remix," said Ferg. "So that's when I remixed my whole album. I took a verse off and put ScHoolboy Q on. I took a verse off and put Missy Elliott on. Got Future on a joint. All the songs was done before I got features on there."

Watch the video above to hear Ferg tell the whole story, as well as talk about his experiences traveling the world to play festivals like Lollapalooza and Montreux Jazz.

In September, Ferg will be hitting the beach to headline a show (with Jazz Cartier and 070 Shake) as part of Red Bull Sound Select: 3 Days in Miami. For more details go to

A$AP Ferg gets the Lolla crowd hyped during performance
A$AP Ferg gets the Lolla crowd hyped © Joe Gall/Red Bull Content Pool
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