As you may have noticed, it's A$AP Week here at Complex. We kicked things off debuting our Andy Warhol/Jean-Michel Basquiat inspired cover with A$AP Rocky and Jeremy Scott (the beautiful Lana Del Rey graces the other side of the issue). We followed it up with his guide to Harlem, we spent the day kicking it with him in the city, and we even got him to name his 25 favorite albums. As if all that wasn't enough, we just had to sit down with Rocky for a personal one-on-one during our cover shoot (seperate from the interview in our cover story).

We talked to ASAP about how the death of his brother Pretty Ricky affected his life, his favorite designers, and why it sucks to be a drug dealer. He also took the time to show love to his boy Drake, defend his friend Mac Miller, and name the one band he's dying to work with. Obviously, just to kick it with Rocky is a blessing...

Interview by Joe La Puma (@JLaPuma)

Congratulations on your first magazine cover. Did you ever think you’d be sharing it with Jeremy Scott?

No, never. Not in a million years.

 

I have a song with Lana, she sent me something through to do. But let’s talk about how I have a crush on her. [Laughs.] Tell her I’m in love with her lips.

 

How long did you think it was going to take you to get a cover?

I knew I was going to get a cover eventually. I wasn’t too concerned about being on covers, but it’s an honor to be on this cover with Jeremy Scott.

You know Lana Del Rey is going to be on our girl cover, right?

I have a song with Lana, she sent me something through to do. But let’s talk about how I have a crush on her. [Laughs.] Tell her I’m in love with her lips.

You know they’re all natural right?

I don’t give a fuck if it was natural, silicone, none of that shit. They look good as fuck. I feel good I’m on this cover surrounded by people I admire, and not in a weird way. I admire Jeremy for his fashion, and her for her songs, and what she does. And her lips. [Laughs.]

Harlem has a long history of flyness. Who are some of your personal style icons?

Aside from Jeremy Scott; Maison Martin Margiela, Alexander Wang, Rick Owens, and Raf Simons.

You’re a young guy. How did you get put up on these designers?

Living in New York CIty. That was it.

Do you think it’s crazy that those kinds of designs have translated from the runway to the streets? Or do you take credit for that?

I’m the reason for that, hands down.

When did you start wearing that?

Around ’05, ’06.

Really? What were you doing back then?

Yves Saint Laurent, Roberto Cavalli, Ferragamo, Gucci, Louis, Y-3.

 

All the drunk girls used to think I looked really nice. The guys couldn’t understand it, but they respected it.

 

Did other people at you look at you like, “What’s this guy doing?” Did it take a little time to catch on?

All the drunk girls used to think I looked really nice. The guys couldn’t understand it, but they respected it.

What has the response to Live.Love.A$AP been like?

You tell me. [Laughs.] It’s been great, yo. People have been showing me love.

What’s been the greatest compliment that you’ve gotten about the tape?

Pharrell said his favorite song is “Out Of This World.”

Have you met him?

FaceTime. I’m going to work with him down in Miami [soon].

You have the biggest record deal any artist ever got before even dropping a mixtape. What’s your secret for building a buzz?

Just doing what I felt was good for me, not caring what people have to say about it. It takes balls to be me, and I have big ones—no homo. [Laugh.]

What’s the girl situation been like since the new deal?

 

ASAP members who don’t rap, and have never been seen in my videos, get more pussy than the average cat. They get a lot of kitty cat right now.

 

I’m going to put it to you this way. ASAP members who don’t rap, and have never been seen in my videos, get more pussy than the average cat. They get a lot of kitty cat right now. [Laughs.]

Are girls you’ve dealt with coming out of the woodwork?

Hell yeah.

Anyone that’s done you wrong trying to hit you up...

Yeah.

How are you dealing with that?

I don’t reply. [Laugh.] I just don’t even respond at all.

How conscious are you that they’re hitting you up because you have money and you’re famous?

I’m well aware of it so I’m really cautious of it. Honestly, I acknowledge the fact that it may be the main reason that they even want to talk to me—because before, we didn’t have anything to talk about. Now, they want to hit me up out of nowhere. I don’t even pay it no mind. I really don’t feed into any of that shit. I’m so busy. You can ask this guy [Gino Simmons], this is like my big bro right here. He wakes me up. I’ve fucked one girl since I’ve been here. I don’t get to get pussy like that. I’m getting money. [Laugh.]

What’s better for you?

Both! [Laugh.] You feel me?

Yup.

Look at Gino. He’s like, “Chill out with them pussy words, bro. They don’t need to know about that, bro.”

 

How important is it for you to put your crew on?

So important. People need to see what they’re about to bring and what they have in store for the whole industry. People need to see all that shit. This is really important that they see. 

 

We all have different aspects. Ferg is more of Tupac and Master P. I’m more Bone Thugs, Bun B, and me. Nast is more Lupe mixed with Lil Wayne. Twelvy is straight-up New York, he’s like Prodigy mixed with fucking 50 Cent. Ty Beats, he’s the man. 

 

Who do you think is the most talented in your crew besides you?

You kind of got me on that one but all of them are great. All of them. We all have different aspects. Ferg is more of Tupac and Master P. I’m more Bone Thugs, Bun B, and me. Nast is more Lupe mixed with Lil Wayne. Twelvy is straight-up New York, he’s like Prodigy mixed with fucking 50 Cent. Ty Beats, he’s the man. He makes all the beats.

After your brother passed did you find support in your crew?

My brother died, ever since then I always looked for another brother. I guess that’s why when I meet dudes with pride and values and morals, I really like them a lot because that’s what my brother was all about. No homo—that’s what attracts me to my boys. In them, I see the love.

Everything that they do is just genuine, in my eyes. It may be times where we’re not on the same page because we disagree on certain shit or we have arguments. That’s just regular day-to-day shit, but anybody I have in my life right now, I consider as a brother. Anybody.

If you see them around me, I love them—put it like that. It’s outside of ASAP. I want to surround myself by loved ones. I think my brother blessed me with the gift of loyalty and loving.

Drake brought you out during Fashion’s Night Out. Did you ever entertain a deal from him?

He never even tried. He never brought it up. That’s why I give that guy so much credit. It’s like he just really wants the world to know, “Yo this guy is really great. He inspired me.” I appreciate that dude.

We talk about it all the time. Like, yo he doesn’t have to do none of that. The fact that he goes out of his way to show how serious and sincere he is about how he feels about me is amazing.

Guys in that kind of position, they’re usually cocky. They don’t want to admit that they still like certain other shit. It’s like, “Oh, I’m the shit. That’s all that matters.” He could just be like, “Shout out to A$AP Rocky,” that’s it. When someone asks him about me, he says why he likes me, what he likes about me, and I just appreciate that dude man. He’s another great guy. Shout out to OVO.

Do you think label execs may have thrown more money at you, because of the Drake co-sign?

Hell no. I was with my partner, Bryan Leach, and we’re the new shit. I was with him before this Drake shit. It’s just that RCA/Polo Grounds saw something in me that they were confident. I feel like all labels were confident in me but these guys were really about their business and they wanted to make it happen.

 

When someone says, 'Harlem World,' it means something. Harlem World is really a world. We live on our own time. We have our own morals, our own culture.

 

Me and Bryan come from the same place. Everybody around me comes from the same place because they can relate to me. I can’t really deal with people who can’t relate. There’s certain shit...Harlem is the only place in the world that is a world within itself. Honestly, I mean that.

When someone says, “Harlem World,” it means something. Harlem World is really a world. We live on our own time. We have our own morals, our own culture. What’s going on right now is I’m kind of changing Harlem culture in a good way, in my opinion. And he seen it, and we’ve been partners ever since. So this is before the Drake thing.

That’s just a blessing. Everything that happens is just a blessing. Our mission, we were going to do what we had to do regardless of who came in the picture, but Drake did what he did, and I just appreciate that shit.

How is the tour with him?

It’s a big learning experience. I’m having so much fun. I haven’t had this much fun since my fourth birthday party. [Laugh.] It’s amazing. Honestly, I have people around me that care, really love me. I feel the love.

Even this guy right here, Gino Simmons. Like, this cat loves me, and I know it. That’s what I have around me. I’ve got loved ones around me. That’s why it’s so easy because they take care of the bullshit everyday and I can just focus on being A$AP Rocky. It works like a team.

I don’t mean to get off subject, but I’m just really passionate about what’s going on right now. I’ve never been this happy in my life, ever. And I’m here with Jeremy Scott? The guy that I talk about in all my rhymes?

Every fucking video, from my first video “Get High,” I’ve been wearing Jeremy Scott. “Get High,” fucking “Purple Swag,” and “Pe$o.” Now eight months later, I’m doing a fucking cover with him. I feel honored, man. I fucking love that guy. I love what he does.

 

That’s great. Who had more groupies on the tour, you or Drake?

Drake.

Really?

Yeah. I’m not going to lie. [Laugh.] Let’s keep it real.

Is it as crazy as people say?

Yeah, for me too. But it’s more crazy for him. [Laugh.]

How many cities did you do?

Two; Illinois and Penn State.

 

[Drake] has more money
than me. He has more bitches than me. He has more fame than me. And he’s more humble than I am. 

 

What was Penn State like, with all that fall-out?

Penn State was like, positive energy. I was actually partying more with Penn State. Penn State had some hot-ass bitches. Illinois, when I went over there, it was crazy. Kendrick killed it. Drake killed it, as usual. Honestly, being on that tour is like...words can’t explain it. I’m having so much fun. I’m a kid. I’m enjoying life.

My responsibilities...I’ve got old heads around me. All the old heads around me, they keep me from fucking up. I’m blessed to have the people around me that I have. I appreciate everybody. Aside from that, I’m having fun. That’s all that matters.

Has there been any mentorship taking place from Drake on this tour?

It was more like friendship. He doesn’t know that when he’s on, I’m on the side of the stage just watching his performance, like studying. [Laugh.] And he’s just having fun. He does the same with me.

Like, what he does is like, “Yo, so I’ve got to be in my dressing room, but I’m going to be in the crowd, like all the way in the back, and I’m going to watch you.” I’m like, “Alright, cool.” We just chill.

Before meeting Drake, I was just like a regular average person. So I know what average people say about him. He doesn’t hear it of course because I don’t hear what average people say about me.

People come back to me and say, “Yo, they’re hating,” or “Yo, they’re loving you,” but he doesn’t really know what goes on. So people have bad shit to say about him but I can guarantee if anybody meets that guy they’re going to love that guy. He’s just really a great guy.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned from him?

Humbleness and sincerity. He has more money than me. He has more bitches than me. He has more fame than me. And he’s more humble than I am.

That’s a good quality.

It’s the best quality. I feel like more people need to be like that. I would prefer to be modest than belligerent or arrogant. And he’s one of them niggas where—no homo—he can let his nuts hang. He could show his ass off, no homo.

How come every time it comes to styling, it’s a gay reference like, “He can show his ass off, let his nuts hang.” [Laugh.] What else can I use? Give me one, Gino. You can’t think of one! But he doesn’t.

We threw a party the other day. The whole time, Drake is in this corner just chilling. He’s talking to his homeboy, not even fucking with the bitches. Bitches are staring at him the whole time. They’re looking at me, staring at him.

When they look at me, I’m like, “Hey, get over here.” They look at him, he don’t even see them and shit. He’s just one of those cats, where it’s like—he knows. It’s on.. I’ve got mad love for Drake. That’s my brody right there. Shout out to Chubbs. That’s his boy. That’s his Yams.

Yeah, his right-hand man. Chubbs said in our interview for the Drake cover that, “Nothing’s going to ever happen to Drake before it happens to me.”

 I’m going to be honest with you, Chubbs does not care to be in the spotlight. Chubbs is a regular-ass dude. That’s my nigga right there. I fucks with Chubbs. Please put that in there, people need to know. Everybody has a person, like a best friend—mines is Yams. When it comes to big bros, I’ve got about four. It’s my lawyer, my manager, my partner, and a consultant of mines. Drake has Chubbs, and then he has his people. But honestly, Chubbs, I stamp the approval on him. Like real nigga shit. Chubbs is good in my book.

 

You told me you’re very good friends with Mac Miller and very protective of him.

I am.

Why do you think he gets hate from critics?

 

Mac Miller’s not afraid. Hip-hop hasn’t had someone since Humpty Dumpty to do sh*t like that. On top of that, when it all comes down, Mac Miller can get on some sh*t where he can get lyrical with dudes. I’m not going to sit here and say Mac Miller is the next Eminem. Mac Miller’s Mac Miller.

 

Because he’s one of those cats that’s not afraid to throw on wigs and be goofy. At the end of the day, people are going to call it corny because he’s entertaining the kids. Put it like this, when you throw a four-year-old’s birthday party for your daughter, you’re going to call a clown over.

That clown could be a fucking serial killer, or an entrepreneur, or a fucking genius. You don’t know what that clown could be. Mac Miller’s not a clown in my eyes. That wasn’t a reference. I see you smirking. [Laugh.] That was a bad example.

I’m just saying he’s not afraid. Hip-hop hasn’t had someone since Humpty Dumpty to do shit like that. On top of that, when it all comes down, Mac Miller can get on some shit where he can get lyrical with dudes. I’m not going to sit here and say Mac Miller is the next Eminem. Mac Miller’s Mac Miller. I know him on a personal level. I never did any songs with Mac Miller, none of that.

Me and him are just straight up, “Yo how are you doing today, bro?” and “I’m straight, bro.” Seriously. I’m a genuine dude, and Mac Miller calls me up all the time just to ask me how I’m doing. I call him all the time like, “Yo what’s going on?” Our friends hang together. Mac is good in my book.

I don’t know all those other motherfuckers he fucks with. I fuck with Mac. I fuck with his crew Most Dope. Those guys are good. But what goes on with Mac is he appeals to 14-year-olds. So people my age and older look at him like he’s parody rap. Honestly, he has the number-one rap album in the country. Get off his dick. Fuck that.

We talked about the Hodgy Beats thing and you got interviewed a shitload about it.

Yeah.

Have you spoken to them yet?

No.

And has there been any reaching out from his side?

No.

Is the question getting annoying for you?

It’s really irrelevant. Fuck annoying, it’s irrelevant. Put that in there. Quote: “Fuck annoying, it’s irrelevant.”

What do you see as the biggest difference between your two crews?

East Coast, West Coast. Lifestyle. Culture. Not culture, but just day-to-day, everyday shit. It’s really fucked up because I know that they don’t like us. A lot of my crew members don’t like them niggas, but I like them niggas. I’m being honest. I like them.

 

We’re not coming for their necks or nothing like that. Personally, like I said, I want to work with Tyler, The Creator.

 

Why don’t you think they like you?

Nah. I know they don’t like us.

How do you know that?

Because Hodgy went out his way to show that he doesn’t like us. He doesn’t have to like us. That’s fine with me.

Do you think they feel threatened by you guys?

I don’t know what it is. They shouldn’t because we’re not coming for their necks or nothing like that. Personally, like I said, I want to work with Tyler, The Creator.

How big do you think that could be?

I mean, I don’t really want to speak on it because it’s going to be corny. Like, if we work together, we work together. If we don’t, we don’t.

You made headlines when you said you weren’t really feeling New York rap.

Yeah, but they keep misconstruing my... That’s why I hate fucking written fucking interviews. What I said was, “I fuck with New York rap. I was raised off of New York. I fuck with New York rappers.” I’m talking about niggas my age don’t rap about shit that I can relate to. That’s all I said, like new New York motherfuckers.

I’m not talking about niggas that have been holding it down for New York for the past fucking 10 years. I’m talking about these niggas that nobody knows about. Like, people need to just get off my dick and suck it one time. Fuck is you talking about?

You’re featured on the Lloyd Banks song...

Killed it.

Yeah, how did...

 

Lloyd Banks is a great friend. Shout out to Jim, shout out to Jay-Z, shout out to Maino, Max B... Can you please put these shout outs in there if you’re going to ask the question? Shout out to Max B. Shout
out to everybody doing it in New York.

 

Lloyd Banks is a great friend. Killed it. Body bag, zip it up. Take them to the morgue.

What other New York rappers are you feeling?

Lloyd Banks. Shout out to Jim, shout out to Jay-Z, shout out to Maino, Max B... Can you please put these shout outs in there if you’re going to ask the question? If you’re going to show the question? Shout out to Max B. Shout out to everybody doing it in New York.

Have you met Jay-Z?

No.

How did you feel about Pusha rapping over “Peso?”

I loved it.

Did you like what he did with that beat?

Yes, sir.

Some of the songs on Live.Love.A$AP have an underground ’90s New York vibe to them. Do you ever feel like you’d be better suited during that stage of rap?

No, I think I’m capable of doing anything. I think I’m better suited when I’m suited better. [Laugh.]

 

That was a mixtape, but it kind of could have been considered an album. What’s going to be the difference between Live.Love.A$AP and your album?

I’ve got a lot more money now.

What about the content musically?

Same shit, just a different day.

It seems like every day there’s a new picture with you and a new rapper or producer. Last night you were with Alchemist.

How do you know about that?

This is my job. I need to stay on top of shit.

Oh my God.

If you could collaborate with anyone that you haven’t yet, who would it be?

MGMT

Word? Why?

Because them niggas is trill as fuck.

Are you a big fan of their music?

Big fucking fan.

 How long have you been a fan of them?

Probably since around ‘08 or ‘09.

Do you think you could do some good shit with them?

I know I can.

Are you going to try and get them on your album?

I don’t know but I just would love to.

What were you like back in high school?

Some pretty motherfucker in the hallway fucking with the hoes.

Were you a good student?

I mean, I was a good nigga, but I don’t think I was really considered a student. I was never in class but I was smart as hell though. I was really smart. Teachers loved me. They loved my personality. So whenever I came to class they weren’t even upset for missing like six days and shit.

What was a typical day for you back then?

Coming to school about two hours late, best outfit on every day, hanging around the hallways, cutting in the lunchroom, cutting in gym, fucking with the bitches, chilling, losing shit. Real knucklehead young nigga shit.

 

Anybody that sells drugs and is successful with it is scared for their life. You’re scared for your life because you don’t know about tomorrow... There's no comfortable hustler out there.

 

You rap about selling drugs but don’t glorify it. You even came out and said it was corny. Why is it corny to you?

Because anybody that sells drugs and is successful with it is scared for their life. You’re scared for your life because you don’t know about tomorrow. Everybody knows you’re getting it, so they want to bust you. What I’m doing right now, people want to bust me.

So imagine if you’re doing the wrong thing and what kind of shit is on your conscience. Any minute you could get it. You’re on edge. You can’t sleep right. There’s no comfortable hustler out there. Every hustler can’t wait to stop. They want to invest in something that’s really more legit.

I just look at it like, it’s just something that wasn’t for me. I did it. I did it to get what I got, and I got what I got out of it. I left the game. I don’t plan on going back. I plan on doing this. But me selling drugs and being able to support myself and family let me know that I could do anything in life. Now I’m supporting myself and my family with this music. So I just feel blessed, bro.

How do you feel about people who shit on the skinny jean era of rap?

I don’t care. That shit is funny, whatever. Sometimes I might wear them, sometimes I might not. I’m fly as fuck. That shit don’t bother me. That shit is funny. I’m not no pro-skinny-jean-era type of nigga, like I own about three pair of skinny jeans right now. That’s about it.

I only wear them on days when I’m like, really trying to style on motherfuckers. I’m kind of tired of the skinny jean kind of thing, like super skinny. I hate that shit, but I make it look good. I’m ASAP.

Your brother was your mentor and a guiding force in your life. How does losing him most affect you?

I’ve become a spiritual person and I just owe it all to him and my dad. Him and my dad were the greatest two guys ever. My dad was a great father. My brother was a great big brother.

Did he ever tell you, “You’re going to be a big star?”

No, but he always said I was going to get all the girls. He always told me that. He said, “You look better than me. When you grow up, you’re going to get all the girls. You’re going to have all the girls. They’re going to go crazy over you.”

And he called himself Pretty Ricky, so that must have been a pretty big compliment, right?

No, sometimes girls would call him Pretty Ricky. Boys would call him Crazy Ricky.

Why?

He was crazy.

He was?

Yeah, a little bit.

When you have a big moment, like your album release party or even a shoot like this, do you think about him? When the great things are really happening?

Yo, man... I think about him and God.

How proud of you do you think he is?

Nobody ever asked me that. Nobody ever asked me that, ever. You’re about to make me fucking...

I don’t want to.

Nah, you’re straight.

Because you know he is, you know?

That’s like...man. I really hope he’s as proud of me as everybody else is. I know he is.