At this point there is a certain "Tumblr rap" aesthetic. Do you feel as though that’s still a relevant sound now?It’s still a relevant sound, but you just got to be able to grow from it. You don’t want to be a one-trick pony. You got to either find new sounds or bring something else to the table. You don’t want to just stay stuck in one realm for forever. That shit weak. Even now, it’s just slowly becoming regurgitation. Artists do pen-and-pixel style covers, and throw crosses on their shit, and you know—do chopped-and-screwed shit, and it’s like, “Yo—really? It’s 2013, fam. Really? That’s still what you’re on?” Shit changes every year. That shit is just becoming really bad and really bad reblogs of all of us kids back in 2011.
Tumblr’s users' interests really shift fast. This is the Internet. Everybody has ADHD now. The climate changes quite quickly.
in trying to make that adjustment from being known on Tumblr to becoming a real-world success, what’s been the thing that took you by surprise the most? What was the thing that you didn’t expect you’d have to deal with?
That the fans turn on you. All the people that supported us, you know, some of them stopped supporting. They have this really fucked-up mentality that once a certain amount of people listen to something that it’s not the shit anymore. And it’s “OK, now I got to find the next new shit so I can stay exclusive and look cool on the Internet and it looks like I’m really a tastemaker." Rather than just thoroughly enjoying the music without any type of influences or anything clouding your own judgment. It was a lot of people supporting us that stopped supporting us, and I found it hilarious. I’m like, "Wow really, is it that serious?” But I wasn’t salty. You know what I’m saying?
Was there anything else you wanted to talk about as far as how A$AP Mob made it from Tumblr to the real world?
I’ll just say people are non-believers and I’m not going to ever trip on that. When Rocky first dropped his project and everybody was like, “Who the fuck are the rest of these guys with A$AP in front of their name? They’re never going to fucking make it.” And now we got Ferg who’s about to drop his project this summertime, and we’re going to keep doing the same one-by-one until everybody gets their foot in the door. So, I don’t really trip on people saying, “These guys are weak. Rocky is the only relevant one, the most talented one.” Because when Rocky came out we was dealing with that shit too. When people didn’t believe that he’d be an actual artist to drop an album in stores on a major label. Everybody thought he was some fucking gimmicky rapper.
What’s been the hardest lesson that you’ve had to learn and adjusting to becoming an executive?
I would say, maintaining a healthy balance of satisfying your Day One fans and maintaining and growing a new fanbase. You can’t keep everyone satisfied, but you just got to be able to try your hardest and do what you want to do at the same time.
Do you feel like there’s a stigma [associated with] the way you guys came up through Tumblr?
Not anymore. I mean, it’s just all about getting out of that. That’s it. As long as you’re able to grow and take advantage of an opportunity, you won’t have to worry about a stigma. We had stigmas when we first came in. Now the stigma we have is keeping the ball rolling. Who’s next up? Or the next album, the sophomore album. Our stigma right now is the sophomore jinx, which is way better than “Oh, is this guy still popular on this website?” You feel me? That’s a better worry than some petty shit like that.
What are the musical ingredients that made the good and the bad of what’s coming out of Tumblr?
I would say, it’s whatever drives the Tumblr youths' interests at the time. Like, right now it could be chopped and screwed music, or '90s Memphis rap, or fucking West Coast rap from the '90s—shit like that. It would probably sound like a mixture of all that combined in one. But you never know: the Tumblr’s users' interests really shift fast. This is the Internet. Everybody has ADHD and shit like that now. That might not be the interest next year, you know what I mean? The climate changes quite quickly. Next year might be fucking conscious rap. That might be the next new shit on Tumblr.
Women make up more than half of Tumblr users—do you think that shapes the way this whole scene has developed? Or did you ever think about that at all?
[Laughs] I never thought about that. That’s kind of crazy. Women definitely have an impact on who’s popular on Tumblr. If you have a distinctive look, bitches are going to fuck with you—you feel me? So it gets you more popular I guess. Even since day one, women always had the same music, regardless of what anybody says from a consumer standpoint. Because they always said women are the ones that buy the albums and shit. So, yeah, no matter what, women are going to be a very important aspect when it comes to the consumer shit.
At the end of “Suddenly” somebody yells “You don’t get no hoes on Tumblr!”
[Laughs] Who the fuck said that? It might have been me because I’m always bragging about my Tumblr bitches. But it might’ve been somebody else. I’m not sure, it might’ve been Bari—Bari is heavy on Tumblr too. Like I said that’s a big aspect. The fact that somebody will say that on a rap album [laughs] ... shows the importance of Tumblr to this generation. Fifteen years ago, you didn’t hear anybody saying “You don’t get no hoes on Xanga.” You feel me? That fact shows the importance of it right now.