With his highly anticipated debut album, Long.Live.A$AP finally released and selling 139,000 copies in its opening week and landing at the coveted number one spot, A$AP Rocky continues his winning streak, pushing himself and his A$AP Mob crew even further to the forefront.
Life+Times caught up with Harlem-bred Rocky, aka Rakim Mayers during a recent promo trip to London to discuss the great response to his debut album, touring, misconceptions, and inspirations.
Life + Times: Congratulations on the success of the album thus far. Are you happy with the response you have been receiving?
A$AP Rocky: Hell yeah, yo! I’ve been told what the critics are saying and I haven’t heard anything bad yet. But you can’t please everybody anyway. I just try my best to please me.
L+T: When the single “Fuckin’ Problems” was released, Tyler, The Creator took to Twitter and said “So funny when someone releases a new song with the same four people that we expected to be on it with the same shitty “Trap” beat Hahaha.” What did you think of that?
A$AP Rocky: He has his opinions and he’s entitled to them, so it’s whatever. Hell no, I’m not tripping over what Tyler, The Creator said. I’m Jiggy.
L+T: “Fuckin Problems” does hit hard in the club. especially the Kendrick Lamar line….
A$AP Rocky: [RAPS] “Girl, you know you want this dick!”
L+T: How upset were you about the leak of the album?
A$AP Rocky: At first. A lot. I can’t lie. But then when I started seeing the great responses I was like… “Fine!” We still got to number one. My mom thought that the leak would affect the sales and if I’m honest, it did affect sales but how do you still manage to be number one? It leaked over a month early too. That’s fucking crazy! It just goes to show people really fuck with ya boy out here. My mom downloaded the album illegally by the way.
L+T: Now that the album is out, how would you rate it? What are your favourite tracks and the tracks you hope people are connecting to?
A$AP Rocky: Man, I just hope they connect with the album. “Phoenix” is good, “Suddenly” is good, “Long Live A$AP” is good, Angels is good, “LVL” is good… There’s a lot on there that people can relate to.
L+T: Have you decided on the next single yet?
A$AP Rocky: Yeah, maybe “Wild For The Night” with Skrillex. I wanna do something with that. Maybe “Fashion Killa.”
L+T: The last time you visited London, you mentioned the possibility of collaborating with fellow Harlem artists like Teyana Taylor and Azealia Banks. Is that something that’s still going to happen? Do you have any other collaborations planned?
A$AP Rocky: I used to date Teyana. She’s my ex. And A$AP AV used to date Azealia. But yeah I don’t know because I think people expect that. People expect us to work together and I want to do the unexpected. There’s 16 tracks on the album, eight are solo and eight are features. But they’re organic. It fits for me. That’s the only reason why I did them. I didn’t want to do something that made it feel like I was forcing it. I didn’t want to compromise or settle, I just wanted everything to be organic. That’s why I worked with the people I respected creatively. I want to collaborate with Jessie Ware. That’s going to happen. Also MGMT. I’d love to work with Adele.
L+T: You’re touring with Rihanna later this year, any special plans for that?
A$AP Rocky: To have fun. I forgot about that one! I’m actually excited about it. Like that’s going to be some rockstar shit, don’t you think? I just want to do my A$AP Rocky thing and go there and have some fuckin’ fun!
L+T: Are you planning to hit the festival circuit?
A$AP Rocky: Hell yeah, you know I will. I’ll be hitting SXSW again this year as well. But this time I’m only going to be supporting the Mob though. We taking over. We killed SXSW last year. We shut that shit down. This year is going to be even bigger. I want to hit all the festivals, can you imagine what “Wild For The Night” with Skrillex will be like at a festival? Insane!
L+T: Do you get annoyed at the people who still question your style? (Like those that thought you was wearing a dress on 106 & Park?) It’s clearly still a hot topic in hip-hop.
A$AP Rocky: That shit is stupid. They gonna say what they gonna say. Honestly, for real for real, I hate to throw this word around because just because someone disagrees with something doesn’t make them a hater, but them motherfuckers is hating because it’s evident that’s a Ann Demeulemeester shirt, they put the tank top version next to it to make it look like I was wearing a dress when it was a whole outfit. I explained time after time to the point where I though “If you wanna call it a dress, let them call it a dress. I’m not about to keep addressing it. ” That’s just some bullshit.
L+T: Well it’s safe to say you’re a trendsetter. Are you always looking for the next big thing in fashion?
A$AP Rocky: Yeah. I mean I brought back the Air Force Ones with the straps. Now you see them on runways and in magazines. It’s funny. People like Dior, now have girls in Dior tops and Air Force Ones on their feet. That shit’s crazy. I wouldn’t want to do my own clothing line, but I’d like to collaborate with some designers. That would be dope. I have a lot of ideas.
L+T: Going back to music, is there anyone you’d like to produce for or direct videos for?
A$AP Rocky: Not anyone in particular but any creative artist that wants to do visuals needs holla at me because my shits is on point. My visuals is shittin’ on ‘em, like your favourite directors. “Long Live A$AP” was incredible. I didn’t do “Fuckin’ Problems” though. I didn’t want to. Like that’s just a commercial single. The lady that did “Goldie” with me, she did “Fuckin’ Problems” by herself and I did “Long Live A$AP.” It took me like, three months to come up with the visual and write the treatment because I was doing so much at once, but it couldn’t have came out better. It was insane, think about it, with the two monitors that projected my brain. Insane. But a lot of people don’t get it, they just see Illuminati. I’m over that shit.
L+T: What do you think is the biggest misconception of you?
A$AP Rocky: I don’t know what to think anymore. Motherfuckers gonna say what they gonna say at this point. It’s too late for that now, we’re in the masses. I was going down the street and I saw a big ass billboard! If I keep worrying about what motherfuckers say I’d be fucked up. I just did a song where I was like “motherfuckers accuse us of being faggots” and I used the F word. A few people was like “Maybe people will take it wrong?” We all thought about it and said “Fuck it!” II know what I meant and it is what it is. People are gonna say what they’re gonna say. I plan on not giving a fuck at this point.
L+T: So who is inspiring you at the moment?
A$AP Rocky: I ain’t gonna lie, I’m inspiring me right now. My team is inspiring me. I got a person from Harlem whose been in the game before, I got a person from the West Coast who know everything about anything about hip-hop, A$AP Yams is a hip-hop encyclopedia! I got somebody who’s been in marketing and advertising. We got all the essentials that complete me as an individual, and that’s just management. They all complete me as an individual. We can’t forget about the A$AP Mob.
L+T: What’s the plan next in regards to the rest of the A$AP Mob?
A$AP Rocky: Well, A$AP Ferg is up next. You’ll be seeing a lot from him next.
L+T: Do you feel pressure to make sure they all get enough time in the spotlight?
A$AP Rocky: I don’t feel no pressure. Not at all. Sometimes I get doubtful but I don’t feel pressure. Like I doubted my album wouldn’t sell because it leaked over a month early, and I don’t know anybody who could do that from their first album. So at this point the pressure has all gone.
L+T: What’s to come for the rest of the year?
A$AP Rocky: Well I’m glad you asked. I want everyone to know, I’m running for prettiest motherfucker ever! Also I hope to be performing at some of the awards show; I hope they call my ass. But they gonna be like “He grabs too much booty!”