A$AP Ferg - 170 Russell, Melbourne

Written by Tobias Handke

A$AP Ferg - 170 Russell, Melbourne

Arriving on stage to the sounds of Let It Go, the opening track from his debut album Trap Lord, A$AP Ferg shows no signs of jet lag as he bounds on stage wearing a camouflage jacket with his hearty smile showing off his shiny grills.

Introducing himself as, “A$AP Ferg, also known as the Trap Lord and Hood Pope,” Ferg has the crowd on side early with Trap Lord cuts Dump Dump, Fuck Out My Face and Murda Something.

The front of stage is a heaving mass of sweaty young kids jumping and throwing their arms in the air as Ferg casually manoeuvres about the simple stage setup. He exudes energy and good vibes in an almost nonchalant way, smiling and pointing to fans while spitting lyrics at breakneck speed, confident in his ability as both a rapper and showman.

A$AP Mob track Hella Hoes gets a huge ovation from the crowd and allows Ferg to duck backstage as his hype man, the underrated Marty Baller, keeps the momentum flowing with his solo tracks Flex and Bag First, the latter signalling the return of Ferg who sprays the crowd with a bottle of champagne in true rock star fashion.

Touring in support of well-received sophomore album, Always Strive And Prosper, Ferg asks if it’s alright to play some new tunes from the release, treating the near capacity crowd to Uzi Gang, Let It Bang, the Skrillex produced Hungry Ham and bonus album cut Back Hurt.

The Harlem rapper dedicates Tatted Angel to lost friend A$AP Yams, claiming he’d never have got to where he is without his love and support. He urges the audience to put their lighters in the air as the venue turns into a sea of lighters and phones illuminating Ferg on stage. It’s sombre and low-key moment in an otherwise frenetic hour-long show of hard-hitting trap tunes.

Ferg is a true professional as he whips through the tracks in quick succession, often missing verses or cutting collaboration tracks short. He uses all the tricks in the hip-hop playbook to keep fans happy and energised, using the old call and response multiple times, shouting out Melbourne and getting everyone to rap along to certain parts of songs, such as the chorus to Psycho.

He’s having such a good time he invites a couple of lads on stage to freestyle, telling them he wants others to have the chance to shine like he did before his success. The first doesn’t fare well and is quickly booed off stage, but the second holds his own and impresses, before Ferg spits his own freestyle and puts both wannabes to shame.

Fan favourites Shabba, Strive and New Level send the crowd into ecstasy as Ferg brings things to a close. Although he only spends an hour on stage, Ferg continues to shake hands and pose for photos as the lights come on, proving while A$AP Rocky may be the bigger star with a Kardashian on his arm, Ferg is a man of the people and he left everybody in attendance with an experience they won’t forget in a hurry.


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