Remember when hip-hop was all about guys rapping about their sneakers? It still is—at least on one level—in the world of A$AP Rocky, although the sneakers in question are more likely to be laceless Margielas. Of course, Rocky’s music encompasses much more than that, but it’s his intuitively reverent irreverence—toward hip-hop, toward fashion, toward most things that operate in an orthodox or circumscribed way—that has fueled his swift and sudden rise from fashion-obsessed mixtape hustler to idiosyncratic pop star. Within the last 18 months, he has signed a record deal worth a reported $3 million and recorded and released his proper debut, Long.Live.A$AP (Polo Grounds), which reached the top of the Billboard charts when it was released in January. He has also toured with Drake and Kendrick Lamar, co-directed a handful of his own videos, collaborated with Raf Simons, and was a near-ubiquitous presence at Fashion Week in New York City in February, even walking in a show for street label Hood by Air.
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