It’s been an up-and-down couple of weeks for A$AP Rocky. On Saturday, the 26-year-old rapper attended the world premiere of his new film, “Dope,” a hip-hop-driven comedy in which he plays a drug dealer named Dom. (Also featured are Keith Stanfield, Zoë Kravitz and Rocky’s ex-girlfriend, the model Chanel Iman.) The movie — Rocky’s first — has been a Sundance hit, drawing rave reviews and becoming an early favorite to win the festival’s audience award. But Rocky, né Rakim Mayers, was in little mood to celebrate. Just six days earlier, on Jan. 18, his close friend and collaborator Steven “A$AP Yams” Rodriguez died suddenly of still-undisclosed causes. On Sunday morning, Rocky would have to fly to New York City for the funeral.
When T spoke with Rocky at the “Dope” after-party, the loss was weighing heavily on his mind. “I miss him,” he said of the A$AP Mob co-founder. “Yams was my Yoda. He’s my brother. He left too soon, but I cherished every moment that I knew him.” When the conversation shifted to the film, however, his mood brightened considerably. Citing the 1992 drama “Juice,” starring the late rapper Tupac Shakur, as an early influence, Rocky expressed a desire to keep acting after Sundance. And as he spilled about everything from fashion to film to the current state of hip-hop, it became increasingly clear that his ambitions extend far beyond Park City.
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