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.
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$AP P on the Boards. I was born in New York but have been back and forth between the city and Miami almost forever. As far as my style goes, it’s however I’m feeling at that moment – I wish I had a single word for it but there could be days I’m dark, happy, or just based and I’m letting my mind pour the thoughts out into the Universe.
When I meet A$AP Rocky at a restaurant in midtown Manhattan– the kind where veal tomahawk chops go for $50 a pop – he’s trying to figure out the day’s itinerary. How to, in the next six hours, cram in a performance on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show, a shopping spree at Dior Homme and the New York premiere for the film he’s making his acting debut in – Rick Famuyiwa’s coming-of-age comedy, Dope. “I’ve been living like a black rock star,” he says, “I slept for an hour today – an hour and a half? – but I need more.”
That schedule also goes some way to understanding how the rapper – real name Rakim Mayers – has morphed, in fewer than five years, from the self-proclaimed “pretty motherfucker” from across 110th Street to the cocky figurehead of the A$AP Mob – the Harlem crew that revived New York hip-hop. But there are multiple sides to Rocky. Is he, as he raps, the Fashion Killa more interested in hanging out with designers Raf Simons and Rick Owens than making music? Or the lothario who, as his lyrics put it, has had too many Fuckin’ Problems? On one level, he might be considered the typically brash young rapper who sports pavé diamonds in his teeth, has a downtown penthouse in New York and a Hollywood pad, and chases Roger Sterling-esque mind expansion via psychedelic drugs. On the other, he says, he’s the humble, studious creative, would-be director and movie star. Rocky knows that some of the preconceptions about him are down to his entrance into the world of rap in 2011, which wasn’t exactly subtle. “Coming in I was so braggodocious: gold, bitches, all that other shit. Not a lot has changed,” he says. “I’m just a little more humble. I’m here to stand out, I’m not here to shit on people no more.”
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$AP also explains how the music game has changed from wanting to make a story with the album and now people just want to make a hit single. He talks about NY artists and CA artists and how peoples opinion of them differ.
If you’ve been paying any attention to the local tour circuit, you would know that the hood pope, AKA the trap lord, AKA Fergenstein, AKA A$AP Ferg was recently in town. We know the A$AP Mob member is just as influential in the style world as he is in the music, so when we linked up with him in Sydney we made a beeline direct to Subtype Store. Once we got there we did a little shopping, chilled out, and introduced him to our friend Careaux for a quick chat about life on the road.
Promoting his recent album “At.Long.Last.A$AP”, A$AP Rocky stopped by “The Whoolywood Shuffle” with DJ Whoo Kid on Shade 45. The 30-minute interview is laced with gems; Rocky speaks on losing the ring that Swizz Beatz gifted him, PacSun pulling his “anarchist” merchandise from their shelves, being instrumental in Mos Def changing back his name from Yasiin Bey, working with Rod Stewart on “Everyday”, Rick Owen’s wife Michèle Lamy paying homage to A$AP Yams with the artwork for “A.L.L.A.”, Lil B cursing the Houston Rockets and diffusing a beef that Rocky had with another rapper, and more.
The interview ends with Rocky putting Wiz Khalifa on blast. It’s out there that Rocky turned down a weed challenge from Wiz, but he sets the record straight and how he got Wiz back by popping his mushroom cherry. Tune into “The Whoolywood Shuffle” each and every Saturday from 12p-6p EST, with a re-broadcast on Sunday’s from 10a-4p EST exclusively on Eminem’s Shade 45 (Sirius XM).
“I hope you all enjoy this, nah’mean? If it’s one thing I can say about this album, it’s that I wanted to make music the way I wanted to, not like any of this other wack sh*t out here.” This is how Rakim Mayers, alias A$AP Rocky, recently addressed an intimate crowd of about 25-30 journalists, label reps and industry folk at his pre-release album listening event.
Of the 18 tracks that make up his second studio album, A.L.L.A (At.Long.Last.A$AP), the crowd only heard about seven or eight songs, but one could already get an impression of the trippy, psychedelic sound Rocky was experimenting with for the new project. With anticipation already building for what A.L.L.A. would bring from the banger of a single “Lord Pretty Flacko 2,” all buzz seemed to fall to the wayside with the sudden and tragic death of A$AP Mob founder A$AP Yams. How the Mob will move forward without their fallen captain remains in question, but with Rocky at the forefront, they’ve made it known that it would be business as usual, with them dedicating all that comes next (including A.L.L.A.) to their longtime friend.