A$AP Rocky is late. Two hours late, to be exact. Then, out of nowhere, he rolls up (literally) to our cover shoot on an electronic skateboard, which he uses to travel from the door of his Escalade to the studio floor, approximately 30 feet away. “I’m just a big kid,” he shrugs, exposing a full-on golden smile—made of real gold—beneath his Céline shades. As with any kid, it’s hard to stay mad at him. But he’s not really a kid. He’s a 26-year-old Harlem-bred rapper who’s headlining the Theater at Madison Square Garden September 22 with fellow headline-making MCs Tyler, the Creator—who was recently banned from entering the U.K.—Vince Staples and Danny Brown. The event tops off a huge four years, during which Rocky’s ascended from releasing a mixtape (2011’s online freebie Live.Love.A$AP) to signing a $3 million deal with Sony, dropping two No. 1 albums and collaborating with Skrillex, Lana Del Rey, Kanye West and, most recently, Rod Stewart on At.Long.Last.A$AP. (The record’s acronym, by the way, is a reference to Allah.) During our candid chat—which is all conducted while Rocky rides his skateboard—the stylish MC touches on everything from political hip-hop to why God created weed.
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