A$AP Rocky’s diss towards street-wear labels Hood By Air and Been Trill in his new song “Multiply” wasn’t misunderstood. The Harlem rapper genuinely doesn’t f*ck with them creatively anymore.
New York‘s The Cut caught up with Rocky at the Guggenheim International Gala in New York City on Wednesday to get the diss’ confirmation:
Why did you say that?
Because I can. I birthed it, so I can kill it.
[Regarding] the Hood by Air line on your album, was there anything in particular that happened? That made you feel like the stuff was weak?
You know, fashion, it changes. Your perception of fashion sometimes changes; one day is red, the next day is blue. My style changes, it varies.
So you weren’t as into it anymore.
It is what it is. HBA shit is weak.
Rocky ducked and dodged a lot of the questions, but there was a very salient portion later in the interview when The Cut continued to ask for clarification:
Anything in particular?
I’m going to put it to you like this: I can say that I’ve been scrutinized for my fashion since I was about 15 years old. A lot of people got it easy. I feel like I had to go through the whole Civil Rights Movement just to be comfortable, to make other people comfortable, to be able to wear what they want to wear, and a lot of dudes are just claiming to have it without having to have that sacrifice or suffering through all that kind of shit. We’ve been through that kind of shit. That’s all I can really say about it. It is really miniscule. It’s no real beef.
The Civil Rights Movement comparison to wearing clothes is ridiculous. Let’s get that out of the way first so we can move on.
Rocky’s not wrong when he laments that he made skinny jeans, billowing t-shirts, crisp button-downs, and high-fashion sneakers acceptable among street kids, especially when in other eras he’d mocked or worse. Hood By Air and Been Trill are the epitome of co-opting biters, who, along with Supreme, sell overpriced, starkly colored basic-wear to kids who are low-key yachting on the weekends off Long Island. You’ll see those brands’ disciples roaming the streets of New York (and every other major international city) during Fashion Week–following, always following.
It takes guts for Rocky to speak up like this. Only Kanye West, a flamethrower among bridge-burners, has had a similar diss towards the notoriously vengeful fashion industry. But Kanye has infinite clout to drop those bombs. Rocky, for what it’s worth, doesn’t quite have Kanye’s leeway to say what he wants when he wants.
Yet, he did it anyways. So good on him.