Maybe you’ve heard, but this was one of the worst winters on record in New York City. Harlem rap and fashion prodigal son A$AP Rocky would know.
Reports of his breakup with model Chanel Iman kicked it off early in October. After a year of taking time off of music to pursue other projects, Rocky charged back onto the radar of ’heads with a song cold-clocking the fashion label he was once nearly synonymous with, Hood by Air, in one of the more controversial moments of his career. Right before midnight on New Year’s Eve, another booming new track (“Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2”) put promise at the forefront of 2015: This was gonna be a great year.
A few weeks later, tragedy struck: A$AP Yams, a key collaborator to Rocky (and moreover, a best friend) died of what we now know to be an accidental drug overdose. Two weeks later, Complex Director of Content Strategy Joe LaPuma—who followed Rocky around for a week while on tour for a previous Complex cover—was faced with an entirely different A$AP Rocky from the one everyone thinks they know, let alone the one LaPuma knows.
Or knew. Because Rocky’s indelibly changed, and while this new one is still ready to take on the world, unlike the one of years past, this one is now holding a few things close to the chest. Even so, as captured by Complex contributing photographer Neil Krug, while his true colors these days are a little more subtle, they’re also a little more psychedelic. Of course, like his thoughts on the events in Ferguson, Iggy Azalea, Been Trill, and more, Rocky’s still happy to set a few off in his typically bright, loud fashion. After all, even the snow’s gotta melt at some point.