24 year-old Harlem rapper, A$AP ROCKY graces the cover of Complex Magazine’s November/December 2012 issue. Where he talks about his recent rise to fame, being the “Pretty MotherF*cker,” not being a Lil Wayne d*ck-rider, being a rebel, hating Wayne’s sense of fashion and more.
It’s been a little over a year since his “Peso” video went viral. He followed that with the acclaimed mixtapeLive.Love.A$AP. Now, Rocky’s highly anticipated debut album, Long.Live.A$AP, is being kept carefully under wraps until its planned December release.
Until then, he’s holding his fans down with scene-stealing features on records by Schoolboy Q, Swizz Beatz, and Rihanna—and a legendary performance as President Kennedy in Lana del Rey’s “National Anthem” video. More than any of that, Rocky’s gravitas, charisma, and hustle have brought him this far—to the cusp of rap superstardom.
Here’s a few highlights from the interview with the mag below:
On Weezy’s fashion sense:
“I hate the way Wayne dresses… Maybe it doesn’t work for you, but it works for him… Let that man be legendary.”
On other artist hating on his seven figure contract and success:
“If I gave a fuck about what these clown-ass motherfuckers gave a fuck about, I’d be confused,” he says. “When you don’t give a fuck, you’re happy like me.”
You’re about to drop Long.Live.A$AP. That’s a big deal. What are you most excited about?
“I’m most excited about finally unleashing this album that I’ve imprisoned for the past year. It’s begging to be free and rejoiced by the world. It’s some trill shit. It’s some real smoking weed, struggling, some real motherfuckers-is-coming-for-my-head, some real this-is-how-I-feel, this-is-how-you-feel shit.”
What’s changed the most in the past year for you?
“I had a lot of close friends stab me in the back for their own greedy desires. I never saw that coming. I never thought my real niggas would be on some fuck shit with me, and do wack shit. I’m a good nigga, and a lot of people fuck with me and then leave with these accusations trying to fuck up what I worked hard for. For example, the whole thing with SpaceGhostPurrp. I didn’t say anything. He’s putting his foot in his mouth. People are starting to see he’s a racist and crazy and bipolar.
I look on the Internet and every time we put something out he gets his Raider Klan people to be like, “You’re biting,” and it’s like, “You’re just mad I’m bigger than you.” His life revolves around hating on me, and this is a guy who used to live in my house. My mom took care of him. Before I had a record deal we were sharing dinner plates and shit.”
“Fuck no. ’Cause if I start being concerned about that shit I’m going to fail. I can’t be concerned with that. Hopefully God will make it so. I’ll do good. What does first week sales mean when Robin Thicke, who ended up doing nothing first week, goes double-platinum? The music industry is nothing like how it used to be. Everything’s different now.”
A lot of fans at the meet and greet said you inspire them. How does that make you feel?
“I love that. It makes me feel better, because I could go on WorldStarHipHop and click the latest video of me and…. [Rocky goes on WorldStar, clicks on one of his videos, and reads the comments.] Look at all this hate. Let’s just scroll down. This shit shows me that motherfuckers are aware of what I’m doing, and they have an opinion. Everybody wants their opinion to be voiced. They feel entitled, which you should as a human being. If you have a mouth and an opinion, it should be voiced. But when it comes to hip-hop music, it’s the most scrutinized genre there is.”
I’m not sure if it’s the I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude, but something is clearly resonating with the kids.
“It’s working. I want kids to say, “Yo, I want to do what I want to do. I want to live free.” A$AP is a lifestyle. Be young. Smoke some weed. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re not perfect. I’m not perfect. I’m not a role model. I’m an entertainer—but I’m a cultural figure.”
Do you think you’re influencing people like Kanye?
Of course. That’s obvious. [Laughs.] We’re all in the same circle. He’s way richer than me, but of course he’s influenced by me. C’mon, bro. I made waxed denim cool in hip-hop. Fucking waxed denim and rips in jeans. Nobody else did that. I don’t give a fuck. I didn’t know what I was doing. These jeans are Balmain, and I wear them with a Supreme jacket. Of course I’m influencing.
How do you feel about the culture of hip-hop changing? Lil Wayne is skateboarding now.
“That’s dope. I put Wayne in Jay-Z and Kanye’s bracket, in terms of success. Wayne is still fun. Are we forgetting that Wayne made everybody switch their flow up and start using the E’s and R’s, and “I’m ir-regul-ar, seg-ular”? Like, c’mon, are we forgetting that Wayne changed hip-hop, too? Are we forgetting that he made all these motherfuckers want to have tattoos? Are we forgetting that? It wasn’t Wiz, it was Wayne. Wiz did it, too, but I’m just stating facts. This is a guy who fucking went from being the youngest underdog in his crew to saving his company, and saving his “Daddy.” I’m not a fucking Lil Wayne dickrider—I’m just speaking facts.”
On Rihanna ass grab at the MTV Awards:
“I didn’t mean for the ass grab to be the thing. I don’t fiend for fake publicity shit. I’m just a trill nigga. [Laughs.] Rihanna is what I want to be, as far as having a big core following. She’s very successful. She’s been doing it for years. Think about it. “Pon de Replay”…. So ’05, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12…. She’s got seven years in this shit. Shout-outs to that young lady, and hopefully, with the grace of God, seven years from now, I can say the same.”
It’s clear that you do things your own way, whether in your music or your fashion. Do you consider yourself a rebel?
Of course. I’m doing everything I want to do, the way I think it should be done. Let’s break it down. I’m from New York City. I look like I’m from California. I rap like I’m from 1993, ’94, or ’95. I dress like I’m from France. [Laughs.] And I fuck bitches like I’m Tupac. And I ain’t scared of shit, like I’m God. So, of course I’m a rebel. I do what the fuck I want. Everybody has rebellious ways, but I feel like A$AP stands for its own anarchy. We are rebels. We choose to make our own music, and it’s going to become popular. All of our shit sounds underground. It doesn’t sound like anything you hear.
Also, Rocky’s mom, who now calls herself the “Pretty Motherf*cking Mom” told the magazine:
“I’m so proud of my son,” she says with a grin, “and I can’t thank Rocky enough for the loyalty he has, and what he has done to better my son’s life.” Other than a well-publicized split with producer/rapper SpaceGhostPurrp (who has accused Rocky of biting his rhymes and suggested that things got physical between the two crews), loyalty runs deep in the A$AP Mob. Everyone has been down since long before RCA blessed them with a $3 million budget. The bond they share is more than friendship. It’s a brotherhood.”
Read more here, and the new issue is currently on newsstands.
image credit: ComplexMag