24th Oct2017

A$AP Rocky Talks New Album, Under Armour Deal, and His Deep Love of Flowers

by @Djordje

Our interview with A$AP Rocky was supposed to take place backstage after an A$AP Mob concert in Philly, in a quiet, empty room, but in the moment, Rocky had a better idea. “We need to capture this chaos right here,” he said, gesturing around his dressing room, still packed with Mob members, girls, security guards, other unidentified loiterers, and even (according to A$AP Ferg, anyway) a loose mouse. “Let’s embrace the chaos,” Rocky suggested. “Rolling Stones in 1967, feel me?”

He took his spot in the middle of a leather couch, surrounded by his old friends from Harlem—Ferg, Nast, Ant, and Twelvyy—and started methodically breaking down a small mound of weed as he spoke in a post-concert rasp. Every so often, he’d tease me for asking so many questions. But some of them he didn’t mind so much: GQ Style had collected them from a few of Rocky’s notable friends and admirers, with a promise of bringing back answers.

The chaos Rakim Mayers attracts is a result of his charisma, which is raw and uncut. It is el puro, perhaps the purest of any star in pop culture—Hollywood, music, fashion, whatever. And given that Rocky’s mom named him and his elder sister, Erika B. Mayers, after Eric B. & Rakim, it was only natural that a kid who seems to crank up the color saturation whenever he walks into a room would channel his God-given wattage into rap music. From the beginning, though, Rocky also established himself as a style innovator and made fashion an inextricable part of his music. In his breakout video, for “Peso,” he repped hard-edged, gothic-leaning streetwear like Black Scale, as well as more established avant-garde fashion like Rick Owens and Y3, while rapping, Raf Simons, Rick Owens usually what I’m dressed in. That was back in 2011, long before he cemented Simons’s unlikely hip-hop-icon status with the song “Raf” this July. It’s not a stretch to say Rocky is partially responsible for making European high fashion as much a part of hip-hop and pop culture as streetwear.

Continue reading on GQ Style.