In an interview for GQ Style‘s upcoming holiday issue, ASAP Rocky revealed his reasons for partnering with athletic apparel company Under Armour, his musical aspirations for his next album (his first without ASAP manager Yams at the helm), and his fallback plans if this whole rapping thing never worked out. In the course of the sprawling interview, peppered with side-talk from his rambunctious ASAP Mob cohorts, Rocky shows himself to be a deeper thinker than many may credit him for being, as well as far more generous than anyone with diamond teeth might be assumed to be.
In fact, the surprisingly frugal Harlemite seems almost offended at the implication that he should be trying to make money from his partnership with Under Armour.
You just announced a new deal with Under Armour. Why Under Armour? And what can we expect?
People would assume, with me going into a business deal with a sports brand, that it would be all about designing or curating a line — making things more lit. But what I liked about Kevin Plank, the CEO of Under Armour, was that he had a vision. He gives, gives, gives. When you donate or you do charities, it’s not about showing people “Look, I’m doing this.” I was in a shelter myself. And I know that when people be donating and shit, you ain’t get no fly sh*t at Christmases and all that. You don’t see no money… So I got with Kevin and Under Armour, so we could open up real rec centers with fly sh*t in them. Not hand-me-down toys and technology — new stuff. And programs for kids to learn to become entrepreneurs, designers, athletes. They can screen-print their own tees and sell ’em from the store, get that commission on it. I think it’s smart. Those kids need laptops and phones today — that’s their platform.
But commerce being commerce, you’re going to have to sell some stuff to fund those programs. So are you gonna design a line with Under Armour? A$AP Rocky sneakers?
I’m talking about giving away to schools. That’s not selling, bro — you don’t make any money off of that. What are you talking about? I want to facilitate ways for kids to get better education without calling it education, ‘cause that sh*it sounds boring. I want to make a way for being smart to be cool. There’s nothing wrong with being a thinker. Where I’m from, being smart has a negative connotation — that means you sold out, that means you’re a geek. I’m just trying to say, “F*ck all that. This is the plan: You are the future, that other sh*t is the past, so let’s make a better way.” And if I feel like designing some sh*t with Under Armour, I will.