Work From Home is a new vertical dedicated to life and culture in the strange and unprecedented situation of self-quarantine that many of us are dealing with right now. From what to watch to how to get a fit off and how to not think about anything, this is our guide to the great indoors. For updates on the spread of Covid-19 and how to keep yourself safe and informed, consult WHO and the CDC.
A$AP Ferg is a rapper and songwriter who needs no introduction. Even now, the artist has been keeping busy through music and recently put together a playlist of his favorite tracks on Pandora. During the day, Ferg finds time to perform his workout routine which includes 300 pushups and has been a daily part of his quarantine life. Host Jian DeLeon speaks with Ferg about his Instagram Live with Dr. Sampson Davis on Covid-19 and the importance of music during the crisis for the latest episode of ‘Vibe Check.’
The below interview is a transcribed version of ‘Vibe Check.’ It has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Jian DeLeon: Let’s start with the playlist. I’ve been watching your Instagram stories. You’ve been deep on some grime, on some UK London scene: Skepta, Deep Cuts, etc. Tell me a bit more about what you’ve been listening to lately.
A$AP Ferg: Oh I just been listening to a lot of music I got… I’m definitely listening to Toosie Slide. I’m listening to The Weeknd. What’s the song? The song name is “No Child.”
JD: How’s your Toosie Slide dance? You have that down yet? Can we expect to see that on a TikTok or something anytime soon?
AF: I’m definitely about to do a TikTok. I’m listening to Insomnia that’s got the Chip and Young Adz. I’m listening to Tupac. I’m listening to Return to the 36 Chambers, Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Oh, definitely listening to Baby Keem, listening to Oasis, J Balvin, and Bad Bunny. Yeah.
JD: And then you had a couple projects on the way too, right? There was some news about you and MadeinTYO working on some stuff.
AF: Oh yeah. I mean we went on tour together so we were working on a rack of songs. It felt like a good time to drop some stuff so hopefully you could drop some of those joints.
Although A$AP Ferg’s plans to build a home studio was halted when the pandemic hit, he’s been writing, producing, and locking in beats (3:13). Ferg is taking this time to be more experimental, break the matrix, and make some innovative art. He sees creativity in DJ sets and IG Live performances which are providing people with sweet escapes in the form of quarantine parties (5:10).
JD: How have you personally been dealing with isolation and quarantine life? Do you have a routine down? You mentioned going back into production and working on that. Has anything changed for you besides the fact that you know you can’t tour and travel as much as you used to?
AF: I’m really taking the time to relax myself to be still to do things that I’ve put off to the side while I was moving around a lot. Also just connecting with my family on a deeper level, connecting with myself on a deeper level. Asking myself, well do I want to do what I really want to do? Because a lot of times I feel like a lot of artists, they don’t do what they really be wanting to do. A lot of the times it’s like we are autopilot, we become a brand and it’s like you can’t slow it down so you got to keep providing the service and you know, being a brand and product versus being a human.
JD: What’s your quarantine workout routine like?
AF: Well, I did 300 pushups yesterday.
AF: 300. I know that sounds crazy, but once you get the first hundred done, if you can do 50 you know just to push yourself to a hundred and if you could do a hundred and that seems like all right, I’m still alive. But that’s also because, I didn’t do any situps or anything like that. I just did straight pushups. Usually I’ll do like 200 pushups, 200 situps, 200 this. This is the longest I’ve ever sat down anywhere. What’s in the back of my mind is there is always rest later. So I guess I look at this in a way God, made everybody pause. He paused the world so that everybody could sit down and rest, plants could grow again, sky could get clear from the pollution and everybody can kind of chill out for a hot second because the world was moving at a pace I don’t think anybody could really manage and wouldn’t be overwhelmed from.
Ferg reflects on his motivations for working together with Dr. Sampson Davis, a voice of his community, to educate the locals about Covid-19. Ferg had noticed a lack of knowledge about the pandemic up in Harlem, where people were congregating outdoors as usual. To address this, he decided to team up with Dr. Davis who understands the culture and people better than anyone else (13:13).
The episode ends with A$AP Ferg breaking down his usual routine which has recently included jazz and painting sessions (15:43). As a longtime jazz enthusiast, Ferg returns to the genre when he needs to calm his nerves. It seems that now, jazz and music in general are much needed to bring people together during this age of self-isolation.
Tune in to new episodes of ‘Vibe Check’ every Tuesday and Thursday.