A$AP Rocky is very high. We’re talking Jim Breuer in Half Baked. Brad Pitt in True Romance. Chris Tucker in Friday. Keanu Reeves in life.
He’s holed up in his hotel room in London. When I connect with him by phone, I say, “Hello?” All I hear on the other end is breathing, then a deep drag, followed by a glorious exhale. This lasts for about ten seconds. Finally, a hazy-sounding A$AP reveals himself.
What’s up, man? How you doin’?
It’s the second week of June, prior to tragic events of Charleston, and the 26-year-old rapper is flying high. His sophomore studio album, At.Long.Last.A$AP, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts, and Dope, which marks his feature acting debut, has been lauded by critics and audiences alike. Right now, A$AP Rocky doesn’t have a care in the world—except, that is, what he’s going to eat for supper.
“For the most part, the food is pretty shitty here,” he says of London. “But whatever.”
This food quandary is partially my fault. I mentioned my time studying in London close to a decade ago, and how difficult it was—as a New Yorker, especially—to find a nice, cheap lunch in a city sorely lacking in delis, bagels, tacos, and pizza. But this generalization was qualified to Mr. Rocky by admitting that the food situation across the pond had improved dramatically in the years since.
Congratulations, Rock—you’re one of the 20 Most Stylish Men Alive. In the magazine we’re showing a photo of you In Milan. You’re wearing—
Let me guess: The black leather moto jacket with the black ripped jeans and Hermès belt?
[Laughs] That’s one of my favorite outfits, bro.
Like Tupac, Ice Cube, Ice T, and many more rap stars before him, A$AP Rocky has turned his hand to acting and made his silver screen debut in the 90s hip hop comedy Dope. Rocky plays Dom, a drug dealer in a fictional Inglewood neighborhood named “The Bottoms.” To avoid arrest, Dom unloads a backpack filled with the titular dope on the film’s nerdy protagonist, Malcolm. But when he wants the goods returned, Dom becomes a man on a mission. i-D caught up with the rapper at Cannes and found out about how he fell into the role, how much love he’s got for P Diddy and how he doesn’t give a fuck about skin color.
Bypassing typical menswear-vernacular in pursuit of a fresher form is Astrid Andersen, who’s been crafting a dope, new dialect for lads since 2010. For SS16 she’s partnered with creative-king A$AP Ferg to create a track and accompanying video to properly notch her season, transcending the habitual monotony of fashion collections and transforming it into a multifaceted bomb of creativity.
Her sources of inspiration are organically comprehensive. Her executions on the old-age notion of luxuriousness: even more thorough – finishing off with a feminine warp and a slick insertion of modernity.
Red Bull Studios’ Catwalk Studio provided the kit to help the pair materialise their exacted concept. (Bull’s expertise in maturing fashion-concepts shine through previous projects including ‘Fred Butler x Charli XCX’ and ‘Alex Mattsson x Zebra Katz’.)
Rapper, designer – an almighty creative: A$AP is more than just a rapper – making this collab truly symbiotic. He inherited his artistic penchant from his father; attended art school; launched his own label; and could tell you more about the explosive Lagerfeld-Yves Saint Laurent spat than the average fashion-journalist. Speaking the same language is a concrete bond that Ferg and Astrid share.
Despite some of the hardships the past two years have presented him, with the passing of his father and A$AP Yams, Rocky has still managed to maintain and debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart. With so much happening, we had to ask where he was mentally at this stage of life and he assured us, everything is in good spirits along with the focus, drive and creative energy.
“I’m happy to be here, I feel inspired right now, I just want to create.”
During our discussion A$AP Rocky also made sure to share some of the intricate workings behindA.L.L.A., and of course addressed the critics who we feel kind of unfairly portrayed him these past few weeks.
“Nowadays you got cameras all up in your face, motherfuckers wanna know the grade school shit, and it just takes the thrill and suspense out of shit, so now it goes from a good dope album to oh now he’s just talking about bitches, then I become that guy who just talks about bitches, then next thing before you know it, women will think I only look at them as bitches and that’s not true. I just want to make it clear, I’m young, I do fun stuff, with women while I’m young, a bunch of young men do it and if you don’t fuck with me, suck a dick.”
A$AP Rocky hangs out with Big Boy in the studio, and discusses his creative process when writing; even dreaming about new songs. He goes into the music business and the politics within the industry. A$AP Rocky also dives into what it’s like being single, the state of hip-hop, and his new movie, “Dope”. Plus, much more!
After connecting with Boosie for the debut episode of our new interview series 5 Under 5, we link up with Harlem’s A$AP Rocky to pick his brain on a number of pressing questions. Rocky breaks down the meaning behind his album titles, why he linked up with Rod Stewart, what’s changed since Yams has passed, and more.
A$AP Rocky talks about his new album, how Dangermouse, Mark Ronson, Rod Stewart and Miguel got on the album.
A$AP also explains how the music game has changed from wanting to make a story with the album and now people just want to make a hit single. He talks about NY artists and CA artists and how peoples opinion of them differ.