If you’ve been on the internet past year or so then the name A$AP Rocky has definitely popped up on your cultural radar. Writing a summation of his achievements at this point is almost a redundancy. The leaked single “Peso” that traversed the ‘net at the speed of Kate Upton nudes, the three million dollar record deal, and the much anticipated debut album to follow up the stratospherically successful mixtape. The thing that strikes you about Rocky is his unwavering confidence (“The only thing bigger than my ego is my mirror”) and his refusal to conform to the hip-hop norm (“Clothes getting weirder”). Rest assured, while we’re planning our next move this 24 year old from Harlem has already set the next ten.
I imagine it’s been a pretty crazy 18 months for you right, since the release of your mixtape Live.Love.A$AP?
Yeah man, everything is just beautiful at the moment
How much have things changed for you?
Things changed dramatically, but you know I’m just happy to be here in all reality.
Following up Live.Love.A$AP with Long.Live.A$AP, do you think you’d laid out the terms of what people could expect from you in the album?
I just wanted to show people what I was really capable of. I wanted to show that when it all boils down to it, I really was the shit. I really was creative, I really was talented, it wasn’t just hype around me you know?
Did you feel a lot of pressure going into that recording process? You had the whole internet waiting for that drop.
I didn’t feel pressure, even though they used to try and put pressure on me. I think that’s why I actually came out with such a good completed album, because I didn’t let any of the pressure get to me. But you know man, the pressure was definitely out there for me to take, but I didn’t accept it
Before your album came out you featured in a video with Lana Del Rey. That really crossed over outside the world of hip-hop and into the mainstream. Do you want that recognition as a pop-culture figure?
I don’t care about being a pop icon, I don’t like that. I just wanna make a difference. I don’t really know if it’s considered different, I just like what influences my style of music and being an individual. I don’t have concerns of being the next next next. Because if that’s who I’m meant to be, that’s who I will be. I’m doing something right by just being myself. I just want people to identify that I’m just trying to stand out as a creative individual, and inspire people to do the same thing – because it’s possible.
Style obviously plays a big role in your image, know does it influence your music as well?
I don’t know if it influences it, but it does go hand in hand.
Is it about the package for you, is it about the visual as well as the sound?
Yeah of course, it’s just who I am so it comes really easily. I guess it’s just a really cool aspect of my personality and that’s it, my personality is just – wide
How do you see the worlds of hip hop and high fashion connecting? When you’re referencing Margiela and Rick Owens it isn’t necessarily something that’s conceptually accessible to a lot of people who are listening to your music.
I mean, all of this is just amazing for me man. To see people rapping about it now, it just goes to show the world is paying attention in some parts that we least expect.
Do you think that kind of high-end fashion is something that’s become more acceptable in the mainstream?
Yeah I think now it is because people are finding out that high-end fashion is out there. They’ve got people like me – A$AP Rocky – as that bridge you know? It’s the connection to it. Only it upsets me when they don’t do it right, they kinda mess it up and make it look tacky. For the most part I appreciate it – I appreciate the people who appreciate high-end fashion
So who’s putting out a strong look for you know, who are you looking at as far as artists or designers?
No artists, unfortunately.
No artists? Really?
Nah. No artists. None, just me.
Just you? All right, what about designers?
Raf Simons of course, I like Thom Browne a lot. I like Tim Coppens, he’s good. Of course Jil Sander, and Jeremy Scott had a great show. Alexander Wang is amazing, and the new Saint Laurent is amazing to me. That new Balenciaga man, there’s a few things out there.
Do you think you’ve moved away from that street wear style into something more conceptual now?
I like stuff that’s just a little different. I wouldn’t even say conceptual, because it’s not really about concepts for me. I like more ordinary things than when it comes to prints, or imagery.
Design houses must be hitting you up for collaborations, is there anyone that you would want to work with?
As far as designers – Jil Sander, Jeremy Scott, Alexander Wang, all of ‘em.
Do you think that might be a reality, is that something that might happen?
Yeah of course, that’s something that will happen.
What’s the plans for the ASAP Mob?
Plans for the mob is just to be creative too. We’ve got A$AP Ferg, A$AP Twelvyy, A$AP Nast they all coming up next, honestly their stuff is just as good as mine, so I feel like people don’t really appreciate what the ASAP Mob has to offer for 2013 and beyond.
Niche & Totem Onelove Group present A$AP Rocky & Wiz Khalifa
Saturday January 4th – Festival Hall – Melbourne
Tickets available here.