Why do you think Tumblr was a better platform for that than, like, a Facebook or any other kind of social media platform, or Twitter?It’s just easier to spread the content, you feel me? You don’t have to copy and paste nothing. It’s just one click, a reblog, and then it’s on somebody else’s page who might have 200 followers. Then that person reblogs their page, and he might have 1000 followers, and then it just spreads like wildfire. That was really my intentions. But other platforms it’s a lot harder to spread your content. You have to do a lot. HTMLs, the codes, and all that other extra shit like copy and pasting codes from other shit. That’s mad unnecessary.
Do you think there’s a reason that A$AP were able to find so much more traction on Tumblr than you might have somewhere else?
Yeah, of course. Tumblr is really its own subculture to the point where now they have a term called "Tumblr Rappers"—where they rap about the shit that interests the everyday Tumblr user.
Tumblr is really its own subculture to the point where now they have a term called "Tumblr Rappers"—where they rap about the [stuff] that interests the everyday Tumblr user.
When was the moment you knew you were going to start pushing the A$AP Mob?
I was real selective with it because “Peso” was an older record than “Purple Swag,” and I was literally sitting on “Peso” for like a year before we actually released it. It was like, we would find the right time to put that record out, but with the whole theme of the Tumblr and shit and the direction it was going, I knew people would gravitate towards “Purple Swag,” which is why we just put it out there. We just wanted to see what the response would be and people responded very well—and this is before the video even dropped. We put the actual song out and people fucked with it. Once I got to a point where I know people are really checking for me, as far as what’s the new hot artist to check out or what’s the best new shit—they know they can go to my blog and see something that they’ve never seen before. Once I built that audience up, I just threw [“Purple Swag”] out just to see what the response was, and to our surprise it was very well.
Which do you think was the stronger record?
“Peso.” We weren’t big fans of “Purple Swag.” Even the video, we were like, "Let's just do it to see how this shit comes out. This is some shit we’re going to just fucking do just to do it." Because when that dropped the comparisons was fucking crazy. We was just being boxed in like a motherfucker, like one-hit wonders type of thing. And, to me, I thought “Peso” was an instrumentally strong New York rap record that was really progressive for New York rap, and it was a good representation of what we sound like in 2011 or whatever year it might be.
In the “Peso” video, it seems like there's some Hot Boys kind of looking scenes, and he’s got the Master P glasses. Was that something that you were conscious of when that video was made?
Nah, we weren’t actually conscious of it because we were naturally just fans of it, you know what I’m saying? Everything that was on my Tumblr was just all of our tastes really put together of shit we liked. When we did that it wasn’t on no “Oh, what’s going to get the kids on Tumblr riled up?” and shit like that. They don’t know what fucking Cartiers are, you feel me, they don’t know what any of that shit is, they’re too young to even know what the fuck that shit is. But we know about it and we know that’s the shit that’s “oh, that shit is fucking Hip-Hop and R&B, that’s crazy,” you feel me? The “Peso” video was kind of inspired by the Cam’ron video “My Hood.” That and Juvenile's “Ha.” It’s a mix of those two videos put together.
Is it becoming too much of a liability to start a rap career on Tumblr?
I wouldn’t say it’s becoming a liability. I would say it’s becoming harder to get out of that element of being labeled a "Tumblr rapper." You just got to know how to capitalize off of it and keep growing from there. Drawing back to what we were talking about before, it's eventually all about, you don’t want to get stuck. It’s just like any other music scene: you want to be able to grow from that one music scene. You don’t want to just stay in that one scene, be forced to do shows in one specific city for the rest of your life. You want to be able to take it as far as you’re able to imagine.
Did any of the other guys on A$AP Mob really pay attention to Tumblr before you guys blew up?
No, actually I don’t think anyone in A$AP actually uses Tumblr besides Ferg. Rocky doesn’t even know how to fucking do nothing besides Facebook and Instagram. Other than that, nobody is really too big on the Internet too much.
When you were shaping the aesthetic, the parts you were involved with of A$AP, was that population of people a part of your consideration at all?
I wouldn’t say the population. I would say certain artists. We were definitely influenced by the Main Attrakionz sound. Most definitely, they were the first people actually to reach out to us. I had a relationship with Squadda even before he even knew any of the rap shit, he used to just fuck with my blog off GP. We’d interact on Twitter and shit like that. I think it’s called “cloud rap.” I’m not sure [laughs]. That definitely had a major influence on our sound and we wanted our shit to sound like.