Last night was quite unexpectedly the night that hip-hop fans around the world had been waiting for. After two and a half years, A$AP Rocky’s highly anticipated third LP At Long Last A$AP was leaked to the public. Never one to get upstaged, Rocky decided to officially release the record worldwide at midnight, but not before throwing a wall-to-wall psychedelic rave here at Milk Studios to celebrate.
Rocky’s album launch party was resplendent with skull-crushing bass drops, a frenzied strobe light show, and mashed up images of trippy cult classics like The Holy Mountain and Requiem for a Dream created by our own Legs Media. The MC of the hour of course came to deliver live performances of never before heard album cuts, but he also revealed his playful side in live covers of songs like OT Genasis’ ‘CoCo’ and Bobby Shmurda’s ‘Hot Nigga.’
Before things got kicked off, Rocky stopped by the Jam Room, where Milk Made’s Jake Boyer caught up with him to chat about his monumental evening. After igniting a blunt and sipping on a cranberry vodka, Rocky ended up dishing on a variety of topics, from his friendship with French fashion guru Michele Lamy to finding religion to the unpleasant consequences that come with ingesting hallucinogenic mushrooms.
For A$AP Rocky, keeping it real is distinctly overrated.
The Harlem-born rapper is not shy about the hedonistic life that musical success has earned him.
After establishing himself with a self-released mixtape four years ago, 2013’s “Long. Live. A$AP” took him to mainstream stardom — he hit the Billboard Top 10 with the single “F**kin’ Problems,” which featured guest spots from Drake, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar.
Despite the death of his collaborator/business partner, A$AP Yams, from an overdose in January, and the breakup of his relationship with model Chanel Iman last year, Rocky (born Rakim Mayers) was typically confident — and predictably baked — when the New York Post talked with him.
There’s no right way to listen to A$AP Rocky’s new album.
“It’s just one of those things where you get to dissect it how you want,” he says, chatting in the backseat of an SUV as he heads from his SoHo penthouse to Harlem for a Q&A late one afternoon. “For me, I had to listen to it in a whole piece, as one. Word from somebody else: it’s a masterpiece.”
Perhaps self-conscious about seeming cocky, he grins and lets out a hearty laugh, changing the subject as he points out a bikini-clad model on a nearby billboard and asks if she’s Adriana Lima. (She isn’t.)
Sneaker Freaker is presenting A$AP Ferg’s current cross-country Australian odyssey, which kicked off with a rowdy show in Melbourne this past Friday. We were there, and can confirm that taking electronic goods and valuables into the sticky sweatpit of people should be discouraged, as moshers lost their shit when the first jam dropped and never recovered it. They didn’t even seem to be looking for their shit, either, they were focussed on having crazy good times. For anyone who doesn’t believe gymnasiums offer enough skin-to-skin possibilities to produce litres of perspiration in collaboration with your fellow man, or just those folk who love observing raw human zoos devoid of inhibition, we recommend you get the hell along to one of these shows.
A$AP Ferg, AKA the Hood Pope, AKA the Trap Lord, AKA the Dope Lord, AKA Fergenstein, stopped by Sneaker Freaker to touch some shoes and talk to us. Flick through the gallery above to see some of Ferg’s key sneaks, and read below to see how the talking went down…
Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky is blowing open the doors of perception with the forthcoming At. Long. Last. A$AP, an album influenced by his recent psychedelic-drug use as well as the trippy sonics of producer Danger Mouse. Rocky cut more than 40 songs, primarily in London, working with guests like Miguel, Mark Ronson and the former Mos Def, Yasiin Bey. “Trust me, it ain’t no cheesy shit,” Rocky says of his mind-opening new direction. “It’s that fire.”
With his slender frame draped across a chair at a restaurant in Harlem, Rocky speaks in low, concise, stoned sentences. When asked, “Do you get tired doing of these interviews?” he responds with a one-word answer: “Yeah.” He lights up for a moment when discussing his recently-deceased friend A$AP Yams. “He was different,” Rocky says, intending that as high praise. Later in the night he would debut its first official single — the Rod Stewart-sampling “Everyday” — at a Red Bull Music Academy event, but first he talked to Rolling Stone about the record, Baltimore and Yams’ lost LP.
Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images For Moncler Grenoble
A$AP Ferg has been a busy man. From fashion to music to painting his face, very quietly the Harlem native has distinguished himself and his Trap Lord brand as a creative force to be reckoned with. Since his debut album, Fergenstein released his 19-track mixtape Ferg Forever last November, paying homage to his father by reimagining his pop’s artwork as the cover design. He went on tour with YG while also releasing sleek visuals for singles like “Dope Walk” starring model Cara Delevingne. Amidst all of this, Ferg also released his clothing collection with Young & Reckless.
At streetwear store Community 54 in Manhattan last week to promote his new line of gear for his Trap Lord line, Ferg spoke to XXL about his new album, why it’s better than Trap Lord and what’s next for the A$AP Mob.
Part 2 of CRWN with A$AP Rocky and Elliott Wilson finds the Harlem MC talking about the importance of his hometown (“fashion and culture, we’re the mecca of it”), his affinity with high fashion, and his opinion on Kanye West. “Him and Pharrell paved the way for artists like myself. I would be full of shit if I didn’t tell you that when I was 16, I was inspired by Kanye West.”
Rocky also talked about getting permission to be named Pretty Flacko Lord Jodye II from the original Pretty Flacko Mos Def, hating on Lil B before respecting the Based God, and being on psychedelics when Pusha T played him some crazy new music.
But the heaviest part of the entire interview came at the very end, when fellow Mob members A$AP Nast and A$Ap Twelvyy joined Rocky onstage as they talked about their fallen brother, A$AP Yams, who passed away in January. “[A$AP Mob] always been close, so I’m not gon’ say him passing brought us closer together,” said Rocky, “but what I will say is we appreciate each other way more ’cause we know tomorrow ain’t promised to nobody.”
Check out the second half of CRWN with A$AP Rocky and Elliott Wilson above, and if you missed part one, check it out right here.