Ferg’s debut single “Work”, produced by Chinza and Fly, appeared on the A$AP Mob mixtape Lords Never Worry, released on August 28, 2012. The song’s music video quickly earned over 2 million online views and was dubbed one of the “50 Best Songs of 2012” by Complex Magazine. On January 10, 2013, he announced Trap Lord would be the title of his debut album. When speaking on his debut album Trap Lord, Ferg said: “I hope people take the good and the bad from what I’ve got to say, I’ve seen so much shit in my life. There were times I ducked bullets at a basketball game, and then I went to a fashion show. I’ve experienced depression. I’ve experienced triumph. I’ve experienced hate. I’ve experienced love. I learned how to be independent. I made it out of the hood, and now I want go to the top.”
On January 10, 2013, it was announced that he signed a record deal with RCA Records and Polo Grounds. On May 14, 2013, the remix to “Work”, featuring fellow American rappers A$AP Rocky, Schoolboy Q, French Montana and Trinidad James, was released to digital retailers. On June 2, 2013, while revealing Trap Lord would feature guest appearances from hip hop groups Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and Onyx, Ferg announced that the album would be released on August 20, 2013. The album debuted at number 9 on the Billboard 200 chart, with total album sales of 46,000 copies in the United States. On October 15, he was named “Rookie of the Year” at the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards. However, he was not there to accept the award as he did not think he was going to win. In 2014, Ferg appeared as a featured artist on the track “Hands on Me” by Ariana Grande, from her sophomore album My Everything. The album was released on August 22, 2014.