When you’re 23 and have turned a budding, underground rap career into a deal fit for Forbes, the intrigue is assumed. Yet, when it comes to Harlem’s ultra-hyped A$AP Rocky, the lure lies beneath the headlines. Think, for one minute, you had just seen your wildest dreams come to fruition. Now, imagine how you would handle yourself, as the opinions and expectations of others’ flooded in about the new found position of power, before you even had time unveil your motives. Would you maintain your momentum and stand behind your game plan? Or, would you buckle under the pressure and succumb to your surroundings?
Fresh off the release of his LiveLoveA$AP project and a tour with two of hip-hop’s most talked-about names, the new face of New York lets TSS Crew’s BEWARE pick the brain behind his brand, in search of A$AP’s answers to the questions above. If you were impressed by his momentum before, wait until you understand the mind behind the movement and motivation needed to ensure his success sees the next level.
TSS: How they treating Harlem out in Cali?
A$AP Rocky: I f*ckin’ love it, man. I’m having the time of my life, movin’ out here.
TSS: I knew that was the answer coming. Glad to hear it.
A$AP Rocky: I mean…the tour was just like…seeing it in person was something out of my wildest dreams. I didn’t expect any of it. It was a big learning experience for me. I’m having fun, but at the same time I’m learning, learning how to have a better stage performance, stage presence and sh*t like that. It’s just a big learning experience that, you know, you couldn’t buy (laughs). It’s something that you gotta’ go through. So, I’m lovin’ it. And, at the same time, me and Kendrick vibe really hard. As well as me and Drake. So, I feel like I’m a family.
TSS: That’s excellent, especially from a fan’s perspective.
TSS: This was your first, out-of-state tour, right?
A$AP Rocky: Yeah, this is my first tour.
TSS: Oh, your first tour, period. Well, kudos to you on that.
A$AP Rocky: Thank you, man.
TSS: How did you adapt to performing in front of 10 times more people?
A$AP Rocky: Well, I’m so f*ckin’ cocky, that type of sh*t don’t faze me. It is what it is. None of that sh*t matters to me.
TSS: Well…stick with that personality, it’ll take you far.
A$AP Rocky: Yup.
A$AP Rocky: Hey, hold on one second, sir.
TSS: No problem.
(A$AP Rocky then sets down the phone and begins conversation with an unknown female.)
A$AP Rocky: Hey, I don’t mean to bother you while you’re on the job, but are you in a rush?
Ineligible answer from female.
A$AP Rocky: I’m only in town for another night and I thought you were pretty…
Ineligible answer from female, followed by another 20 seconds of conversation.
A$AP Rocky: …Alright, thanks. I’m gonna’ hit you in a little bit.
(A$AP Rocky: picks back up the phone)
A$AP Rocky: Hello?
TSS: You good?
A$AP Rocky: Yes. That girl was looking really, really good. (Laughs) Now, what were you saying, bro?
TSS: (Laughs) Well, basically, I was just getting at the fact you had six different shows, it was your first tour, you’re under the spotlight with these guys. What was the most significant moment of the whole tour for you?
A$AP Rocky: The moment? I’m gonna’ have to say, one time when I came out and motherf*ckers ran to the barricades. Then, they sang along to all my lyrics and were buggin’ out. That was the best moment for me. Is that what you meant?
TSS: Underneath that question, in parenthesis, I have written, “moment of accomplishment,” for clarification purposes. I think you nailed it.
A$AP Rocky: Yeah, man. It was crazy.
TSS: I can imagine. Here’s one for you: who’s more talented, Kendrick or Drake?
A$AP Rocky: Oh shit! (Laughs) You know, it’s like, I don’t think either or is beating out each other. It’s just like they both have two different styles, and that’s not just me trying to sound politically correct, or being fair. That’s my honest opinion. I feel like they both have two different styles, and both of them, they raw. Both of them are raw.
TSS: That’s pretty much the answer I would’ve said, if someone asked me that. But, I was just being a dick and asking anyways.
A$AP Rocky: (Laughs) It’s cool. It’s cool. I like different questions like that. I like challenges.
TSS: I know you do. You wouldn’t be here talking to me, if you didn’t.
A$AP Rocky: (Laughs)
TSS: Beyond just the tour, blog love and YouTube endorsements, Drake’s basically put a platinum cosign on you….without really having any vested interest. That says a lot, and you know it. In today’s industry, how important was his co-sign?
A$AP Rocky: Honestly, yo… because it’s happening to me, you know what I mean, it’s gonna’ sound like I’m grateful only because it’s happening to me, but…if it wasn’t happening to me, I would respect Drake so much for something like that. I mean, yo, he doesn’t have to do that. And, it’s not like he’s saying, ‘yo, dude is hot, check him out.’ He’s like, ‘Yo, there’s this dude I’ve been listening to, that I’m inspired by and I love what he does.’ And, he just wants the world to see. Like, I really appreciate that guy for that, yo. He’s a great guy, man.
TSS: You know what, I’ve seen the interviews and you can tell it’s just mutual respect, which is in turn, obviously mutually beneficial.
A$AP Rocky: Yup, it’s really genuine with him.
TSS: Do you feel that, in general, a co-sign is important these days?
A$AP Rocky: Um…naw.
A$AP Rocky: I don’t care for ‘em. I guess they are important, depending on your situation.
A$AP Rocky: As far as me, when I came in, I wasn’t looking for no co-signs. I wanted to do everything on my own, just so I could say, “I did it on my own.”
TSS: And, until the co-signs came knocking, I’d say you did that pretty successfully.
A$AP Rocky: Thank you.