The extended discussion—previously excerpted and headlined ahead of its unveiling this week—follows the recent release of the Rihanna-starring video for new song “D.M.B.” The video spurred some engagement speculation and was written, directed, and executive produced by Rocky for his AWGE creative agency.
While an official release date for Rocky’s tentatively titled All Smiles album is yet to be confirmed, the Rocky and Drink Champs pairing should give fans plenty to dissect in the meantime. Below, we’ve assembled a number of key takeaways from the interview. For the full discussion, watch the video up top and/or listen to the full catalog of N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN-led discussions here.
Time stamps: 5:56, 7:37, 33:30
Asked to retell his “famous story” of meeting Fabolous, Rocky noted he was “probably” around 12 at the time.
“I saw Fab, like, listen, this was at a time when Cam and Fab was just my idols. Ain’t nobody flyer, right?” he said. “So this is probably, like, when Fat Joe had the Rutger shit on smash, so the Terror Squad team’s playing. Everybody walked in. Ja Rule, everybody. … Fab comes in after everybody wild late but son had on, like, the Raptors fitted that never came out—a throwback Raptors—a Jesus piece … No. 7 Jordans, I was clockin’ all that.”
From there, Rocky said he ultimately mustered up the courage to approach Fab about getting a picture or an autograph.
“He’s like, ‘Nah shorty,’” Rocky recalled. While Rocky suggests his perspective as an adult has changed how he views this memory, he took it harder as a kid.
“I was a little hurt,” he said, joking that he went home and ripped down all his posters.
“That’s still my n***a though, man,” Rocky, who confirmed he’s since relayed this memory to Fabolous directly, added.
Time stamps: 19:52, 20:07, 21:13
“I was shocked because I thought it was staged,” he said of his initial reaction to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the awards ceremony following a G.I. Jane joke directed at Jada Pinkett Smith. “I started seeing memes. And after that I said, damn, bro going through it.”
Speaking further on the headlines-dominating moment, Rocky noted he’s fans of everyone involved.
“I’m a fan of Will, Jada, Chris, all of them. They OGs,” he said. “I think it’s unfortunate that, like, he emasculated another Black man in front of all them people like that. But I do think that, like, it’s some built-up shit that probably wasn’t really targeted at Chris Rock. I don’t know. … Like what you said, it seems like it’s more than just a G.I. Jane joke.”
Time stamps: 25:35, 26:22, 2:03:57, 2:04:54
After a quick look back at the collective’s introduction to the world more than a decade ago, Rocky offered up a reflective statement on how ASAP Mob has continued to expand its palette.
“We was just showcasing what we was doing every day,” Rocky said of the group’s early videos. “All we cared about was buying clothes, fuckin’ bitches, shit like that. We was young, man, you know what I’m saying? Now things have changed a little bit so I think, like, our perspective and our capabilities and accessibilities has widened and we got more access to do more innovative things [instead of] showing you the minimalistic shit.”
Later in the interview, Rocky spoke on his relationship with ASAP Ferg and the prior assumptions among some listeners that ASAP Mob more or less broke up at one point.
“I feel like it was just two brothers that had a disagreement. … I don’t think it was necessary for the internet but people hate me for that. They say I’m too secretive these days. I don’t really be posting shit.” Asked if “everything is good” in the ASAP camp these days, Rocky affirmed that it is.
“Everything’s lovely, man. We all blessed to be here. … Everybody doing they thing and everybody’s eclectically kind of like progressively being creative, doing they own thing. And when we all come together, it’s love and that’s all that matters. The hardest thing to do is to keep a group together and shit like that. That’s the hardest thing, bro.”
Time stamps: 1:20:15, 1:20:52, 1:53:00, 2:16:22
Last summer, much ado was made about a viral video appearing to show a bouncer asking Rihanna for her ID. In the latest Drink Champs, Rocky appears to address that exact incident, noting the spot wasn’t a traditional club and was instead more of an arcade space.
“They let us in. That wasn’t no club,” he said. “First of all, me and my lady was walking around because that’s what we do, like, we in New York, walking around, smoking, chilling. And I’m like, ‘Yo, you wanna go to this spot?’ And she’s like, ‘Yeah.’ So we walked up to this arcade. Being that we had so much shit going on, the owner was just acting, like, he was being a fucking dweeb.”
Rocky then urged against fully shitting on the establishment, as it’s an independently owned space, though he and Rihanna were given “shit at the door” before being let inside.
Deeper into the interview, Rocky briefly addressed the fact that he and Rihanna are currently expecting their first child together.
“I’m proud, man,” he said.
Time stamps: 49:54, 50:14
Amid a round of shots-stacking questions in which Rocky was asked to pick one artist or another, Travis Scott came up. Extending the question, N.O.R.E. said something that came up during his online research process for the interview was “Travis Scott stole his whole style from ASAP Rocky.” Asked if that was an argument he himself currently entertains, Rocky confirmed it’s not.
“Nah, you can’t feed into petty shit like that. Like at this point, that shit’s trash at this point,” he said. Asked if he felt that way about Scott in the past, Rocky pointed out that imitation is a flattering thing to see as an artist.
“I mean, I saw similarities for sure,” Rocky said. “I saw that he was inspired and shit like that but that’s what we in it for. That’s good sportsmanship. … Imitation is the best form of flattery. If people wasn’t trying to imitate you, then you’re doing something wrong.”
Time stamps: 1:14:44, 1:15:46, 1:16:14
After sharing memories of the late ASAP Yams, as well as looking back on past Yams Day celebrations, Rocky was asked about the 2021 Astroworld Festival crowd crush incident, which ultimately resulted in the deaths of 10 attendees. Asked if the tragedy made him “scared to perform,” specifically due to potential issues of blame, Rocky pointed out that recent live performances have seen a stronger emphasis on crowd safety.
“I would say ever since that horrific night, shows, they’ve been real adamant about how you, like, mosh,” he said. “I was just out in Brazil and all that and they just stopped the show, like, ‘Yo, some people, it’s getting a little rowdy in the front, trampled and stuff.’ They just stopped the show.”
Rocky then spoke generally about increased precautions following the Astroworld Festival deaths before pointing to the current landscape as something that—in his opinion—is new for the industry.
“I think this is new for everybody so I think a lot of people trying to take it easy but we still going crazy at my shits,” Rocky said. “We still going stupid. That’s part of our culture. We rap but we got a punk mentality to this shit, like, really and truly.”
Adding more to the punk part of the discussion, Rocky shared his belief that shows can often be a place to expend various forms of energy.
“You go to a show, you get out anger, you get out energy. You know what I’m ssaying,” he said. “You get socked in the face, you take that on the chin.”
Time stamps: 1:36:13, 1:36:52
Deeper into the new interview, Rocky shared a funny story about Jay-Z’s reaction to some choice lines on his track “Goldie.”
“When I first came out, I’m like, ‘Cristal by the cases, maybe that was racist/I would prefer the Aces, ain’t no different when you taste it.’ Like, I ain’t know Hov—I ain’t know Jay owned Ace of Spades!” Rocky revealed. “I ain’t gonna lie, I don’t think he was jacking it.”
Eventually, Rocky explained, Jay brought up the lyrics when speaking with other ASAP Mob members.
“He seen some lil’ ASAP n***as back in the day,” he said. “He seen like, ASAP Bari and them, he called them to the side and was like, ‘Yo, come here. Let me holla at y’all.’ … He was like, ‘So, your mans. What’s up with that line?’ ‘Cause I might’ve said some crazy shit like ‘sip Cris and fuck Ace.’ I didn’t know it was owned by [Jay-Z].”