With his solo debut album LongLiveA$AP set to drop on September 11, A$AP Rocky has more eyes on him than perhaps any other young rapper, which explains why his recent brush with the police found its way onto headlines across the internet. Milk Made caught up with the Harlem MC on the set of the latest A$AP Mob music video “Acid” – which the self-proclaimed “flyest motherfucker” is also co-directing – to talk about the cost of fame, his other upcoming album with the Mob crew and the secret to pleasing a woman.
Milk Made: How did you get into directing?
A$AP Rocky: It was just one of those natural things. I didn’t know what I was really doing, I was just doing it – like fuck it. Personally, I think it was one of my gifts. It was like one of these things that you just stumble upon that just becomes amazing and beautiful.
MM: So what makes a good music video?
AR: I think it has to be theatrical to an extent, and sometimes being different. Nobody wants to see the typical, same thing over and over again. And with hip hop, most of the time, all it takes is a bitch with a fat ass, some champagne bottles and a foreign car and some ice and stuff and sunglasses – you got a hip hop video. Am I right or am I right? With us, we like to get more creative, not saying we’re better than anybody, but we’re totally different because that’s what matters to me because I hate doing cliche shit. Fuck that.
MM: So is there something you like to do in every video that’s like your signature?
AR: As far as directing? Oh yeah. But if I gave it away then it’s gonna be corny and then people would notice it. Then it would be like, that’s some A$AP Rocky shit. Corny. I would stop what I do when I start seeing people see that I’m doing it. I’ll be like, fuck that I’m busted. The jig is up.
MM: So you’ve toured with Drake. He’s promoted you and he’s given you some advice. How important is it to have someone who’s established like him be there and support you?
AR: It’s not important, it’s just really appreciated on my part. I really appreciate that shit. You got to realize I’m the first rapper in years – damn near a decade – to come out without having a top man. I’m nobody’s protege. Think about it. I don’t have a big homey that’s a platinum-selling artist that I could say he brung me out.
MM: You don’t think that other artists might need it? It’s just something that helps?
AR: It definitely helps, but who knows where my career would be without Drake. Who knows? It happened. The way I feel about him on a personal note, he’s just a great guy. He’s a trill cat because he admitted it. He’s like, “Yo, this guy inspired me.” Nobody knew who the fuck I was really. Only tastemakers and those who liked that kind of music and shit. But for the most part, the people who knew me now didn’t know me back then when Drake was really showing me all that love.
MM: So your solo album is coming out. Then you’re also working out with the A$AP Mob on an album. What’s the difference for you switching to solo?
AR: Creatively, with the solo album I have 100 percent control on the creativity, whereas with the Mob tape I’m only responsible with what I do. Of course, being an executive producer the whole tape is like, I do have to make decisions to where I like this more than that or this fits the criteria or that – you know, executive decisions. But for the most part it’s the artists being responsible for themselves. I’m not sayin’ that I don’t cherish the Mob tape like I cherish the solo, I just feel with my solo projects I got more control, which is natural. But I think as a collective we still do well. It’s going to be dope. I mean listen to this song that we’re about to do – some next shit. It’s not your turn-on-your-radio-and-listen-to song, which is fine. It’s one of those I’m-going-to-look-at-this-video-on-YouTube-about-a-million-times-cause-this-is-some-trippy-shit kind of video. Like all my shit is like that.
MM: So do you feel like you’re trying to balance the two, working with the Mob and also solo?
AR: I’m already doing it. I’ve been doing it for months. We’re perfectionists. Most of the songs, like everything you hear, I might’ve been sitting on for eight months, long enough to have a baby with, like really that crazy. Personally, I really don’t give a fuck about trying to maintain or trying to satisfy my hype. It’s not about the hype to me because personally, the hype is what I hate most about my career. There’s too much hype. I just want people to realize that I’m a unique artist and that’s that. If you choose to like me, good. If you choose to love me, even better. But if you hate me, then fuck it, you know? What can I do?
MM: You seem to have an attitude where you go with the flow. Where does that come from?
AR: I don’t know. I guess that’s just me. I’m glad that it’s like that. You can’t sweat shit too much. Lately, for me, it’s been kind of hectic because I feel like I’ve been getting antagonized a lot. Like a lot, a lot. For the most part, I feel like those who do follow what I do and do appreciate me for what it’s worth, they really support me because they get me as an individual. You know, I’m only a human being.
I said I won’t really speak on it, but as far as the incident with me being arrested, it’s like a year ago if that would’ve happened it would’ve just been, OK, Rocky fought with this miscellaneous kid around the same age as him whose holding a camera that was trying to, you know, put it on me fighting another guy. It’s like, how do you hop out of a fight to [another] fight? You know? If it was a year ago, it just would’ve happened. That would’ve been it. It would’ve been the talk on my block. But since I’m making a little bit of money now – they got to make a big deal out of it. It’s crazy how money ruins the world. People who really follow money in negative ways are just air-headed, dick-headed people, you know.
I feel like right now what’s going on with me is people are putting me on a pedestal. I’m really just normal. I don’t get why people treat people like celebrities. They’re just mediocre people, you know. I don’t get shit like that. For the most part – I don’t think what I do is mediocre at all. [Laughs] So me watching people put like a fuckin’ A-list artist, who I got to meet, and really find out that they’re really not that creative, they’re just a machine and it’s just all an image and people are just– it’s weird when you get to see shit from both sides. It’s like I might be losing you right now because you probably don’t have a clue about what the fuck I’m talking about and maybe only I know and people who’ve been in my situation, but it’s really weird right now. It’s a really weird stage when you see the consumers and all the propaganda and all the weird shit that’s going on. I just like to just be regular. Be cool. And have fun because you only live once. We’re young, and I enjoy making art, which is my music and my videos and shit, and I also produce now. Produced a couple tracks along with A$AP. So the person I am now I just want to reveal it to the world. I feel like September 11th is just going to solidify who A$AP Rocky is now.
MM: A year ago you said that you’re just going to try and have fun and enjoy being an artist. Is it still fun? Has it changed at all?
AR: It’s fun. It’s more fun now ‘cause now I got even more money. So it’s to the point where I get to decide how I want to act. The amount of – I realize what I was trying to explain [earlier] – the amount of money you got depends on your respect. And it’s to the point where I don’t even want your fucking respect. [Laughs] And I got money. So what? Suck my dick. Whatever. That’s just how it is. I don’t give a fuck what you think about me at this point. I’m having so much fun right now.
MM: So your career is taking off right now. Have you thought about years from now, how you want people to remember you?
AR: Yeah. I just want to build a legacy for myself. I just want people to be able to remember me as a guy who was very inspirational, influential and inspiring. I just want to inspire other artists whether you make music or you draw pictures. I just want to inspire artists. The world is art and people don’t even realize that shit. I mean, to build this couch it took an artist. You know, to draw it out – everything is art. Life is art. I just like to express art. I feel like art is like the new love. And I got nothing but hippie love for the world. I mean some trippy cool shit.
MM: Alright. Last question. People know you for your confidence, for your swagger. Is there anything you’re not good at?
AR: I can’t swim. I kinda suck at basketball now. I used to be better. I used to be alright, but I’m a little bum now.
MM: Because you don’t play as much?
AR: I don’t play no more, man. Um, I’m bad at skateboarding. Of course, I can’t surf if I can’t swim. [Laughs] Damn, I’m giving away all my flaws right now. What’s another thing that I’m bad at, that I suck at, that I can’t do? I can’t draw. Well, I can draw, but I think my drawing sucks, but that kind of specific art is one of those opinionized things to the point where someone can make beauty out of ugly shit. And… I think that’s about it. Other than that, I’m good at everything else [Laughs]. Anything you want to know, you want me to roll some weed? I’m good at that. Want me to pick out a funny movie? I’m good at that. I always get the best girlfriends because sad to say, I know how to take them shopping – with their money of course. [Laughs] But I know how to pick out and suggest some cool shit and if I love her I’ll surprise her with some cool shit. I think that’s the way to a woman’s heart. All joking aside, a way to a guy’s heart is food, right? You got to know how to cook for him, and sex of course. I think it’s fifty-fifty. With a girl it’s really good sex – and maybe whack sex because I know girls who love their men so they don’t leave them even though they got a little dick or something and they’re like fuck it, I love him so whatever. But you got to do shit like surprise them and notice that their hair is different or their nails are done or they got a new piercing or they shaved. Just weird shit. Am I right or am I right?
MM: So is that your secret?
AR: That’s it. I definitely know how to please women of all cultures. All cultures.
MM: Alright on that note… Thank you.
AR: Thank you
Photos by: Meghan McGarry
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