A$AP Rocky shines on the cover of GQ Style’s Holiday Issue.
The dapper rapper, who the magazine calls the “World’s Flyest Human,” sports a Lanvin coat and Acne Studios Blå Konst shirt on the Andrew Dosunmu-shot cover. Elsewhere, he dons Gucci, Kenzo, Acne Studios, and Jimmy Choo inside of a cathedral. Taking things outdoors, he rocks Marni, Dolce & Gabbana, and Balenciaga’s Triple-S sneakers (which he calls the “Larry Davids”) in the forest; Burberry, JW Anderson, and Jil Sander in front of a giant tree; and Berluti, Emporio Armani, and Vans inside of a studio.
During the interview, Pretty Jodye Flacko opens up about his new album, the follow-up to 2015’s At.Long.Last.A$AP, which is due by the end of the year. “My new album is really about testing new sounds,” he explains. “People are scared to test new sounds, so they go with what’s current ’cause it’s the easy thing to do. The top 100 songs sound a certain way. People cater more to that because it’s a bigger demographic behind that, or it’s a guaranteed demographic behind that. I prefer to experiment and have my crowd grow with me and to reach new crowds. I don’t just rap—I actually make music. That’s why it takes time. These sonics represent me.”
André 3000, Raf Simons, and Shameik Moore were also among those who contributed questions to the interview. Mahershala Ali asked if the Harlem rapper — who was named after the legendary Rakim — had to name his child after another legendary MC, who he would choose. After thinking about it, Flacko responded: “I’d probably name my child Pharrell.”
Read additional highlights from the interview below.
On Raf Simons: “Raf had me flying out to Antwerp so I could smoke my weed and just catch a vibe with him back in 2012 and 2013. I’ve been looking at him and [Rick Owens’s wife and muse] Michèle Lamy for advice.”
On Michèle Lamy: “Michèle Lamy is like my fairy godmom…She’s the reason I got all these diamonds in my mouth. She had hers since 1985. She puts me on. She tries to make me evolve as an artist. She encourages me to do more things outside of musical arts—more contemporary art. She taught me the difference between masters and Renaissance and contemporary and Pop art. It’s been a journey. Raf, we talk about collections, we talk about his favorite scenes—what rave scenes inspired most of his career.”
On His Alternate Career: “If I wasn’t doing this, to be real with you, I’d probably be an interior decorator [or florist]. I have such good taste. I love flowers. I think decor value and feng shui is important. If not, I’d be a video director or a film director. But my whole life, I just wanted to be a rapper. That was it.”
On His Under Armour Deal: “People would assume, with me going into a business deal with a sports brand, that it would be all about designing or curating a line—making things more lit. But what I liked about Kevin Plank, the CEO of Under Armour, was that he had a vision. He gives, gives, gives. When you donate or you do charities, it’s not about showing people ‘Look, I’m doing this.’ I was in a shelter myself. And I know that when people be donating and shit, you ain’t get no fly shit at Christmases and all that. You don’t see no money. Pardon my French, but you don’t see no money. So I really want to make a difference.”
On His Face Scar: “When I was 15, I had a fight with some ni**as in the Bronx, on Arthur Avenue. This older guy gun-butted me while we was fighting. He was trying to rob my Pelle Pelle jacket. I still kept it, though. It was bloody. My sister Erika bought me that for Easter. I wasn’t about to give my shit up. Fuck outta here. If you’ve ever seen Jim Jones’s ‘Certified Gangsters’ video, he had it on in black. I had it in white with the colorful Easter P’s on it.”
On God: “Everybody has a different God. I don’t know if God is a female, male, or even in human form. I pray to somebody. Religion is deep. Everybody got a different God, but I just respect everybody for their beliefs. It is what it is. I’m more spiritual than anything. Because I find flaws and contradiction in a lot of religions, respectfully, and I just take the good out of all religions and try to practice to be a better person.”