If A$AP Rocky was not a rapper, he would be a “music video-directing fashion stylist.” Dripped in designer labels (A.P.C. denim, Jeremy Scott sneakers, and a Stussy track jacket and hat), the 23-year-old overachiever says, “This is just my streetwear. Tomorrow I think I might wear Margiela or something.”
Rocky’s name is on every hip-hop head’s tongue these days, including Drake, who’s been co-signing him heavy. His rhymes are steeped in southern simplicity (odd, since he’s from Harlem) and his demeanor is calm and confident, with an occasional tiptoe on the borderline of cocky.
“I don’t feel pressure when people are talking about me,” reveals Rocky. “I do this, so the pressure ain’t a bad thing. It makes me more anxious in a productive way.”
Polo Grounds Music/RCA Records is on the verge of re-releasing his lauded mixtape, Live.Love.A$AP, in a deluxe edition with “better mastering and some amazing beats by A$AP Ty Beats, Clams Casino, and a few tracks that the ladies will be feelin’.” While he bigs up his own crew constantly, A$AP has his heart set on working with Pharrell on his debut album, which will drop in the new year.
The self-proclaimed “pretty muthafu**a” opens up to Rap-Up.com about his love for Asher Roth, flying wizards, and Canadians.
1. You’re not from Houston, but you’ve been influenced by the Southern music scene. How so?
It’s just the culture. I’ve been sippin’ for a while now. When I’m in that zone and you hear those low-pitched voices and chopped-up music, it’s just kind of groovy, if that’s a cool word to use.
2. You’ve said that Asher Roth is one of the most talented rappers. Why?
Because of shit like “Be By Myself” and “I Love College.” I was bumpin’ that everyday in ’08. I’m a big fan and hope to be able to work with him one day.
3. Who are your top five MCs?
Dylan, Dylan, Dylan, Dylan, and Dylan ["Chappelle's Show" reference]. Nah seriously though, I’m into a lot of them. Those A$AP guys are crazy though. They got next. I would like to work with Kid Cudi, Kanye, Pharrell, maybe Snoop Dogg. I wish I could have worked with Michael Jackson.
4. If you could remix or throw a verse on one of MJ’s songs, which one would it be?
“Billie Jean.” That shit is so dope.
5. Do you have any affiliation to Aesop Rock?
Nah, I didn’t even know who he was until people started asking me that. That’s my crew, everybody is “A$AP” something. I joined in 2007. I was an outcast and just wanted to persevere and these dudes are talented.
6. What’s Drake like as a friend?
He’s cool, fun, and a real genuine guy. I guess that’s how Canadian people are. I’ve been meeting a lot of Canadian people lately and that’s how they all are. They’re nice, polite, and good-hearted people.
7. Word is that you’re a Harry Potter fan. What makes him so universal?
Unfortunately yes. I’m into the books. I grew up on them. A lot of people did. I did about three years in an elementary school in Pennsylvania and my fourth grade teacher put me on. Her name was Mrs. Waters, I think. I been hooked ever since.
8. Who is your biggest fan?
My niece, India. She’s eight. She calls me every five seconds, like “Uncle Rocky, I just saw you on the Internet!” and “Uncle Rocky, I wanna be in your next video!” She puts her little friends on the phone too. She has her own cell phone.
9. Are you careful about what you say in your music because she’s listening?
I am actually. I would wild out a little more if I didn’t have her around. I could be acting ignorant and stupid as fuck like everyone expects me to. But I don’t even smoke on-screen anymore because I don’t want her to have to see that. It’s really unprofessional to be doing that. I’m toning down a lot of things.
10. You really thrive on that groupie love though. Who would you be a groupie for?
Zoë Kravitz. I got a crush on her. She’s pretty. I wouldn’t even use any pick-up lines. I don’t have any. I’d just speak the truth.
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