When the going got tough, did you guys ever consider giving up?
A: Before I made it? Yeah, a lot of times. I’ve been through deep shit, like hella depressing shit where I doubted myself and I felt like it’s taking too fuckin’ long. And then I thought, “This is what I do best and I know I’m good. And if I know I’m really good, then the world has to know it.” And I kept pushing for it. There were times that I was like, “Fuck it man. I just want to keep selling drugs.” But I kept going.
And now you’ve got one of the hottest mixtapes of the year. If you could play it for anybody in the world, who would it be?
A: Let me take my time with this. I would play it for my brother. He died. So I would play it for him.
God is blessing me and it’s been a long time coming. I’ve been poor. I’ve been hood rich. I’ve been heartbroken. I've been sad.
How does losing your brother affect you on a day-to-day basis?
A: I try not to think about him at all. It hurts. But this is his way of blessing me, like looking over me. I don’t mean to sound like a cornball—because people might be reading this, like, “Oh, he’s about to talk some bullshit”—but I really feel like my brother’s up there. God is blessing me and it’s been a long time coming. I’ve been poor. I’ve been hood rich. I’ve been heartbroken. I’ve been sad. God is great, man. And I plan to keep Him in my life—and my brother. I’ll never forget about him, ever.
What about you, Jeremy? Did you ever feel like giving up?
J: Yeah, after my fourth show everyone decided to turn against me. I did a show that was all gold and it was in the middle of [a period of] minimalism, and people were like, “This is too brash and too tacky.” And, yeah, it was harsh to have Anna Wintour in your front row and all these people like André Leon Tally suddenly saying, “Oh, you should never design again.”
A: He said that?
J: Yeah, and other people said some really harsh shit. I weathered it and survived. So I’ve had tough times but I never felt like I shouldn’t do it. It was just tough to bear ’cause everyone wants a little love. Those are the things in life that make us stronger.
A: What year was that?
J: That was ’98, ’99.
A: Well look at you now.
What made you keep going?
J: It’s funny because the outfit Rihanna wears at the finale of her tour is something she asked me to duplicate from that show. She was freaking out. She said, “This is amazing! Can you make me one of these?” It was a full circle moment. I just try never to get too caught up in that.
I don’t want to be negative about it. If other people didn’t have the vision—that’s their lack and their misfortune. And that’s not going to be mine. Any artist has to go through these journeys, like what you’ve talked about. That’s the artist’s way. That’s what we have to do and that’s our burden. Maybe other people can’t bear that. We bear that for others. That’s part of our job and the reason people appreciate us.
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