A$AP Rocky Covers Billboard

A$AP Rocky rules the cover of Billboard. As he gears up for the May 12 release of his sophomore album At.Long.Last.A$AP, Lord Flacko—who the magazine hails as “rap’s new rock star”—discusses his evolution from rapper to fashion icon and soon-to-be movie star.

He admits that he’s only skimmed Kendrick Lamar’s album To Pimp a Butterfly. “I got about two songs I liked,” he says.

Instead, he’s been listening to Portishead, Massive Attack, Thom Yorke, and “old ’60s psychedelic shit” like the Kinks and the Stooges.

Just like his taste in music, he also likes to switch up his style. “I don’t like doing anything anyone else is doing,” he explains. “If leather’s popular this year, I’m just going to have to go with suede. If you want to consider my shit alternative, so be it. I just look at it as eclectic.”

The 26-year-old plays a drug dealer in Rick Famuyiwa’s coming-of-age movie Dope, but he wants to step outside the box for his next role. “I want something that gives me more of a challenge and is less cliched. Until I find something that feels right, I’m going to stay my ass off the big screen.”

His favorite film right now is Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel, which has inspired a short film that will accompany his album.

A.L.L.A. serves as a tribute to the late A$AP Yams, who is one of the executive producers. “He left his notebooks, he left his blueprint,” says Rocky. “His album’s f**ing incredible. I want to finish what he started.”