Yesterday, the video for A$AP Rocky's first single, "Goldie," was released to what felt like unanimous fanfare. Whether you love the song or not, there's nothing bad you can say about the visuals. Rocky and Yams are draped in furs, gallivanting around Paris with bottles of champagne, spliced between shots of designer gear and beautiful women sans clothing. What's not to like?
Wanting to know more about the process behind the standout clip, we got on the phone with A$AP Mob mastermind and co-founder, A$AP Yams. He opened up about getting an impromptu call for the trip, bringing back Cristal, and why they'll never pay for a stylist.
Interview by Ernest Baker (@newbornrodeo)
So you’re out in L.A. right now. What’s the vibes like out there?
Yo, it’s dead out here. The energy’s just so dead. I don’t know. I can’t stay here more than four days at a time, brah.
Yeah L.A. is cool, but there’s nothing like hitting the streets of New York
Exactly. Especially when all the homies are here. But the other homies been left. I’m the only motherfucker here. I be with the same motherfuckers every day man. Shit is just weak as fuck.
Rocky like to do sh*t out of the blue. So he just called me up one day like, “Yo, we gotta shoot the video in Paris.” So we bugging, like... A video in Paris—that sounds crazy as f*ck. But nonetheless, we pulled that sh*t off.
How was it going to Paris and when did you guys go?
That video was shot back in March. Rocky like to do shit out of the blue. So the motherfucker just called me up one day like, “Yo, we gotta shoot the video in Paris.” So we bugging, like... A video in Paris—that shit sounds crazy as fuck. But nonetheless, we pulled that shit off.
He wanted to show young motherfuckers in Paris doing their thing and shit like that. People expect that from somebody that’s already established in the game. You’re supposed to be in Paris by now popping bottles of Ace of Spades and shit—you feel me? But when they see a young motherfucker do it, they’re looking at it as more motivation. Like y’all motherfuckers is doing it! Y’all motivating me to do my thing.
A lot of people are basically saying y’all shot the “Niggas in Paris” video for them...
[Laughs.] Yo, shout to Jay and Kanye, you know what I’m saying? They legends in the game. We wanted to show ’em young motherfuckers in Paris. Trill niggas in Paris—and that’s exactly what we did.
I saw you on Twitter talking about how you shot mad videos in one day. Is there other footage from Paris that’s gonna be in another video or some A$AP Mob shit?
Ahh, no. Not as far as Paris. But we got a lot of visual material in the cut right now. We were sitting on that video for a couple months already. So believe me, it’s a lot of videos that motherfuckers have been begging us for. Those joints have been cut too. Them joints are definitely gonna drop. But as far as Paris, that was the first chapter and the last chapter right there for now.
What type of shit did y’all get into outside of the video shoot?
Aww yeah. I was in a bitch house until like 3 a.m. Paris time. I already know French people don’t really fuck with the Americans. So I was already on my Ps and Qs and shit. But motherfuckers roll up on the set, and I’m kind of leery, and then they’re like, "A$AP Mob!"
When he said it in his accent and shit, that shit fucked me up. But as far as what we did out there, we just did the regular crazy shit. And our hotel was right in the Red Light District too. So you can only imagine what kind of crazy shit we got into out there.
Rocky has the line in the song that goes, “Cristal go by the cases, wait hold up that was racist I would prefer the Aces, ain’t no different when you taste it.” You got Ace in the video, and you got Cris. Hov took a stand on what he wants to do. Where do you all stand with the champagne?
We the Crissy boys, you know what I’m saying? Pissy off the Crissy. But, at the end of the day man, we not supposed to be drinking it, so that’s even more motivation todrink it. We not supposed to be in motherfucking Paris, but we in motherfucking Paris regardless.
Shout to Jay and Kanye, you know what I’m saying? They legends in the game. We wanted to show ’em young motherf*ckers in Paris. Trill n****s in Paris—and that’s exactly what we did.
We not supposed to be doing a lot of shit at all because this world wasn’t meant for us to be doing that type of shit. So we gonna do it regardless because we do what the fuck we want and nobody could tell us shit. And that shit apply to everybody. Straight up.
How’s Rocky on set just in terms of his fashion? How do y’all approach getting fresh? Are there a lot of hands in on the process when it comes to shooting a video? Or is it like y’all are in Harlem just stepping out for the day?
Aww shit, Rocky—he’s hands on with everything. From the music, to the visual aspect, no matter what it may be—like, mediawise, all that shit. He’s always hands on with the shit because, he want to make sure that him and the people around him don’t come off as some corny motherfuckers. The visual aspect is always the most important aspect, no matter what people say. In this day and age, music does come second. So he’s always hands on.
Especially with the videos–even down to the cutting the film and shit like that, he’s always been hands-on like that. He needs certain scenes in certain places, he needs you to be wearing something a certain kind of way—like all that shit.
All that shit you see in the videos, it came directly from either his fucking closet, or he bought the shit like that day type shit. He never needs a stylist. We’ll never pay for a fucking stylist, ever. That shit’s just a ripoff. We not dealing with a stylist and shit.
How was that car scene? Y’all look like you’re having a lot of fun.
[Laughs.] Yeah, they had me in the video looking extra crazy in that shit. I’m in there looking extra happy in that car.
They had you in the seat bouncing up and down and shit...
They had me looking like an orphan child who got like a million dollar check and shit. [Laughs.] Being where we come from, last year we was hopping the train at 3:00 a.m. to get to the studio and shit. We traded the train seats for a motherfucking old school ride in Paris.
People was embracing us too. While we was driving through Paris there was mad motherfuckers like, “Yo, what up, what up?” Just showing love and shit like that. That shit was just surreal. That shit ain’t make no sense.
Regardless of who’s due on that list, that list was very valid, you know what I’m saying? Everybody on that list definitely deserved to be on that list. I’ve heard of all they shit. I knew about Children of Night from like three fucking years ago, so that list was definitely valid.
There’s definitely a lot more talent that’s about to be coming out the cut in 2012, like Bodega Bams. There’s a gang of motherfuckers right now. I just can’t come up with all them of the top of the head—no homo.