A$AP Rocky joins Semtex at Maida Vale to talk about making his newest album and the different direction he’s taken to his first release. “With the first one it was just really all about singles,” says Rocky. “I’m a mainstream household figure at this point,” he explains as his reason for the change in direction.
He also explains how he’s designing his own live shows and discusses which Grime artists could crack the American market…
It’s been a year of extremes for A$AP Rocky, or Pretty Flacko, the name he tells me he prefers when we are introduced. The Sundance premiere of Dope, in which the Harlem rapper made his acting debut, came just six days after the tragic loss of his friend and A$AP worldwide co-creator, A$AP Yams.
Yams’s (born Steven Rodriguez) print is all over Rocky’s latest album At.Long.Last.A$AP or A.L.L.A. He co-executive produced the album, and Rocky pays full tribute to his co-conspirator on the album cover by rocking Yams’s distinctive purple birthmark.
A.L.L.A is an impressive record. A considered chronicle of an artist transitioning from a young man filled with ambition, bravado and game to one who has truly lived and wishes to speak honestly. It also sees Rocky flex a more dexterous flow with a confidence that has him go toe-to-toe with Yeezy, Weezy, Juicy J, Future, Schoolboy Q, and, of course, Rod Stewart.
On the phone Rocky is warm, gracious and playful, constantly acknowledging and praising others. He explains that he wants to make the rawest music possible for his rawest fans and that he’s excited for next year’s Australia tour, presented by Noisey.
A$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.
This episode of People Vs. sits down our pal A$AP Rocky and forces him to read the comments on his psychedelic music video for “L$D” from his latest album AT.LONG.LA$T.A$AP. He also gives us an answer to the most important question of our generation: just what color was the dress?
Earlier this year, rapper A$AP Ferg released a video for his Ferg Forever cut, Dope Walk. The series of clips shows A$AP Ferg teaching everyone how to do a move called the Dope Walk featuring cameos by Cara Delevingne, Haim, Kanye West, Rihanna and Beyoncé.
Our very own Tyrone “T-Rex” Edwards caught up with the rapper at this year’s Full Flex Express tour to talk about music, fashion and he even asked for a quick demonstration of the Dope Walk. Ferg describes this viral dance move as, “basically, you Harlem Shake and then you go into a lull.” Tyrone perfected it immediately, take a look at the full interview below and see if you can do the Dope Walk as well!
The only thing that’s exquisite about my taste is my fashion sense. Other than that I’m a piece of shit.
I don’t get enough time to watch porn but I have orgies, like, every other night. It usually goes down with chicks in my room and once they’re done with me they want to go and get with some of my mates. Are they in my room, too? No. That would be strange. OK, I did say orgies. I should have said threesomes or foursomes but they do give my friends some so how do you include that? How do I manifest that into the combo? The most I’ve managed is five girls and me. A sixsome!
Expect the worst but pray for the best.
I sold drugs I’m not proud of when I was 15. As I got older, I was known for selling marijuana. I don’t recommend heroin, crack, meth, Xanax, OxyContin or opium. Did I ever try crack? Hell no! Crack is like something out of The Lord of the Rings. Once you fuck with the Ring, it sticks with you.
Firstly, briefly introduce yourself.
My name is A$AP P on the Boards. I was born in New York but have been back and forth between the city and Miami almost forever. As far as my style goes, it’s however I’m feeling at that moment – I wish I had a single word for it but there could be days I’m dark, happy, or just based and I’m letting my mind pour the thoughts out into the Universe.