Rihanna Recalls ASAP Rocky Grabbing Her Butt at 2012 VMAs, Making "Fashion Killa" Video Long Before Dating

The singer revealed the surprising way her management realized she had feelings for ASAP Rocky.

Two performers on stage; Rihanna in red with a headset mic, ASAP Rocky in black with cap, engaging with the audience
Jason LaVeris / FilmMagic
Two performers on stage; Rihanna in red with a headset mic, ASAP Rocky in black with cap, engaging with the audience

Rihanna opened up about the cheeky way her relationship with ASAP Rocky began.

Days prior to her infamous private performance in India, the singer, 36, spoke to Interview Magazine’s Mel Ottenberg about the time she met ASAP Rocky, now 35, at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2012.

The two were on performance duties that night and took the stage to perform the ASAP-assisted remix of Rih’s “Cockiness (Love It)” off her 2011 album Talk that Talk. Rihanna recalled that Rocky got his hands full during the performance.

Asap rocky grabbed @rihanna ASS real good. dang #VMAs #rihanna #asap pic.twitter.com/xhfjwwVh

— A M A R X O (@AmardeepMarwaha) September 7, 2012
Twitter: @AmardeepMarwaha

“He grabbed my ass!” Rihanna told Ottenberg. “So that was the day that we thought we met. At rehearsal, so it was, like, manager to manager, client to client. … So when he grabbed my ass that night, everybody thought I was about to…my team was worried that I wanted to have his head on a fucking mantle. But I was like, ‘Ah, nah.’ That’s why everybody was like, ‘Oh my god. She likes him.’”

Rih clarified that despite portraying Rocky’s love interest in the Virgil Abloh-shot music video for “Fashion Killa” the following year, the two were not dating at the time.

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“We saw fashion the same. We saw creative the same. We ended up in the same circles a lot. And past that, when we grew up, we ended up supporting each other’s brands and products and creative all the time. I would wear his shit, he would show up to my launches. But it wasn’t until the end of 2019—,” said Rihanna before being interrupted by Ottenberg, who asked if their relationship was initiated with a DM.

“No! We’ve known each other for a long time. I’ve seen him in relationships. He’s seen me in relationships. We’ve seen each other outside of relationships,” Rih replied. “We knew what we’re capable of, and the trouble that we could bring to each other’s lives. We can make or break each other’s hearts. And so, we started dating with a lot of caution.”

She continued, “I just let whatever was supposed to happen, happen. It was just, “This is a flower. It’s either going to die or blossom. But I’m going to let it decide itself.”

As fate would have it, their relationship blossomed. The singer even credited the COVID-19 pandemic as a factor that “sped up” their relationship.

“COVID sped up our relationship, which I felt like god knew we needed because we were going to start a family. And had it not been for COVID, we would’ve taken a lot more time to get comfortable with each other, to even know that we were ready,” Rihanna said. “I mean, we didn’t even really talk about it. There was no denying it. It was the best thing that ever happened to us. It just happened.”

She went on to add, “I let god lead and just let go. Because in previous relationships, I tried and tried and tried my best, and you still feel like it’s not enough. So when someone sees you completely, and believes in you, and thinks you’re worthy of being the mother of their kids, it’s a great feeling. I felt the same about him. I knew he would be a great dad.”

Rihanna and ASAP Rocky welcomed their first child RZA on May 13, 2022. Their second son, Riot Rose, arrived on Aug. 1, 2023.

The singer revealed that having more children is not off the table, saying that she’ll have “as many as god wants me to have.”

“I don’t know what god wants, but I would go for more than two. I would try for my girl. But of course if it’s another boy, it’s another boy,” she added.

Rihanna’s last album, Anti, was released in 2016. Despite countless rumors and statements from the singer herself about a new album, nothing has materialized. Outside of motherhood, in the eight years since Anti, Rihanna set her sights on other non-musical projects including her lingerie line, Savage X Fenty, and her cosmetics brand, Fenty Beauty. 

While spending Valentine’s Day in Paris, France, Rocky told fans on the street that Rihanna was in fact working on new music.

However, Rih told Ottenberg that she has a different approach to her upcoming R9 album, as nicknamed by her fans.

“I have a lot of visual ideas. It’s weird. My brain is working backward right now. I usually have the music first, and the music leads me into all of these visual opportunities, and now I’m having all of these visuals, and I don’t have the songs for them yet, but maybe that’s the key, this time. Maybe the visual ideas are leading me to the songs that I need to make,” she said. “Random ideas, quirky ideas, things that have nothing to do with me at all. I mean, I can’t tell you. The opps is watching.”

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