RSVP Gallery is full of activity and energy on a chilly October afternoon. As the afternoon bleeds into the early evening, it becomes one of those days that reminds us that summer doesn’t last forever, and fall is definitely in the building. Currently in the building is A$AP Rocky and a rotating collection of the A$AP Mob, who take turns traveling from the autograph table set up inside the Chicago boutique and the A$AP “Merch Tank” parked out front. In groups of 20, fans line up for a chance to take a photo, shake hands, and get an autograph from Rocky. For his part, Rocky appears happy to be there, rapping along to the store’s iPod, which blasts a mix of old Dipset, music from the A$AP crew, and a healthy dose of Chicago’s homegrown sounds.
“This is cool,” he would tell me later about the in-store meet and greet. After a childhood spent in and out of shelters in North Carolina and the on the streets of New York City, I’m sure that much of the craziness associated with A$AP’s quick rise to musical stardom must be something of a breeze when considering the alternatives.
Rocky makes sure to stay for every last fan, returning to the table to sign one last A$AP tote-bag before sitting down for our interview in the store’s back room. Making himself at home, Rocky talks about his relationship with his fans, the upcoming release of his debut album, LongLiveA$AP, and more.
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