FIVE YEARS AGO WHILE LIVING IN NEW YORK, I met a kid with gold grills and french braids who told me I had to watch his new music video. The video wasn’t out yet, he just showed me a cut of it on an iPad. The video was Peso and the kid with the gold teeth was A$AP Rocky. Since meeting Rocky that night I have spent a lot of time with the him traveling and documenting his career. We recently sat down during the Rocky and Tyler (the Creator) tour to talk with him about what’s been going on and what he has coming up in the near future. Interview and photos by Brock Fetch
“Animals” is an upcoming animated HBO show about anthropomorphic New York City animals, including rats, pigeons, bedbugs, cats, and dogs. The show, which premieres on February 5, has announced a slate of guest stars for the first season. Kurt Vile, A$AP Rocky, and A$AP Ferg will voice animals on the show, as will Jessica Chastain, Nick Kroll, Adam Scott, Marc Maron, Rob Corddry, Eric Andre, Cobie Smulders, Wanda Sykes, and more.
“Animals” is created by Phil Matarese and Mike Luciano, and executive produced by Mark and Jay Duplass (“Togetherness”).
Rapper and i-D cover star A$AP Rocky has been revealed as the first high-profile collaborator with GUESS on their new series of capsule collections, GUESS Originals, which pairs the brand with the hottest talent in fashion and entertainment, and i-D are able to reveal exclusive images by photographer Kimi Selfridge from the upcoming campaign.
Rocky worked with Paul Marciano, GUESS founder and Chief Creative Officer, to create a collection of striped T-shirts, retro logo print tees and crop tops, slim cut jeans and boxy denim jackets that nod to the GUESS obsessions of 90s hip hop stars, translating them to a 2016 tip.
“I wanted to give kids today knowledge of what GUESS meant to hip hop and the urban community in the 90s and late 80s. From the drug dealer on the corner with the T-shirt, the rapper Nas saying ‘When I get dressed, it’s nothing less than GUESS’ and Tupac in the movie Juice,” Rocky said at the downtown NY launch last night, as noted by Pret-a-reporter.
Referencing Rocky’s crew, retro style logo T-shirts and polonecks have injected their dollar sign styling into the label to read, “GUE$$ Jeans USA”. It’s not pretty, it’s gorgeous.
Check out exclusive polaroids of the collection below.
GUESS has officially joined forces with A$AP Rocky to give you a brand new collection that’s nostalgic of the 90s. The A$AP Rocky x GUESS Capsule Collection includes pieces for both men and women, including denim jackets, overalls, long-sleeved striped tees, distressed denim and more. Check out more pictures of the gear below and be sure to sign up so you get the latest news on the upcoming release.
Inside a corner storefront on the Bowery, a couple of dudes are trying to hang a neon version of the GUESS triangle logo. The windows are made of one-way glass and look blacked out from the outside, so every couple of minutes, some passerby stops to peer curiously into the space. Little do they know that in here, we’ve rewound a couple of decades. The whole place is styled like a ’90s rec room — complete with NBA-themed video games (one frozen on a menu displaying a pixelated Charles Barkley), Alf and Green Hornet comic books, a VHS library that ranges from Tae Bo tapes to Pretty Woman, even a slightly lumpy corduroy couch. Depending on your perspective, it’s a fun #tbt, or, for those of us who recently entered our 30s, a harsh reminder that time’s wingèd chariot is hurtling ever nearer.
It’s all in service of A$AP Rocky’s line for GUESS Originals, which is, to say the least, heavily inspired by the decade — the rapper ventured into the archives to find pieces from the era to re-create. (Pieces from the line will be available for preorder on January 30, at retailers including Opening Ceremony; the full collection will launch February 15 at GUESS stores and online.) At a launch party later that night, promises a press release, guests can look forward to “munching on iconic nineties after school snacks and spiked punch.”
Rocky, who was sitting in the back of the venue at a picnic table covered with packages of Pop Rocks (presumably, the “iconic snacks” in question), spoke to the Cut about his ’90s memories, why you’ll see him walking around with a Super 8 camera, and the reason he wants to have a daughter.
“I have many closets,” says A$AP Rocky. How many? “A few…” He cracks a smile that would look shy if it weren’t exposing two diamond-encrusted gold teeth.
It’s hardly a secret that Rocky is into fashion. He’s namechecked every major designer in his lyrics, from Balenciaga to Ann Demeulemeester. He’s starred in campaigns for his friend Alexander Wang. He regularly sits front row at New York Fashion Week. And, in 2013, he collaborated on a line with Raf Simons. He also collects vintage Issey Miyake, he tells me.
His latest venture though, has a more personal feel. Recently, Rocky reached out to GUESS to express his appreciation for the brand’s role in hip-hop history and how much it meant to him growing up. Not long after, he was flying out to LA, where the brand let him loose in its archive. The result is Archive: GUESS Originals x A$AP Rocky, a throwback collection of men’s and women’s pieces that look like 1996 but fit like 2016. There are striped tees stitched with “GUE$$ JEANS USA,” cute acid-washed crop tops, and skinny overalls printed with Rocky’s customized version of the brand’s iconic triangle.
With festival season quickly approaching, many are beginning to unveil their initial lineups for the spring and summer. Earlier this week Sasquatch! announced their 2016 festival which will include performances by A$AP Rocky, Florence + the Machine, Major Lazer, Jamie XX, Vince Staples, Vic Mensa, Grimes, M83 and many more. It all goes down during Memorial Day weekend in Quincy, Washington. Tickets are available now.
At our Under 30 summit in Philadelphia this fall, Rakim “A$AP Rocky” Mayers was among the last to arrive at our group cover shoot.
“Sorry,” he said with a grin, decked out in a full-length Dior coat. “I’m fashionably late.”
Indeed, nobody in the hip-hop world has been more fashionable of late. The Harlem-born mixtape maven grew up shuttling between homeless shelters, swaggering into mainstream consciousness with debut album Long.Live.A$AP, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts in 2013, helping him earn an estimated $5 million that year.
But it’s his fashion sense–modeling for DKNY and creating a capsule collection for Guess–that makes him ascendant. Rocky is focused on his creative collective, AWGE, which does everything from designing album artwork to managing stylists.
“To be able to curate and manage my own business,” he says, “I always wanted to do it.”
After 4 years, A$AP Rocky is once again making his return to the stages of Indio, CA for the 2016 edition of Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. This years festival spans from April 15-17 and April 22-24. General admission tickets go on sale Wednesday, January 6 at 11am PST. Check out the full line up below.