ASAP Rocky aka 'Jiggy Tarantino' Brought His Nostalgic Racing World to Life in Miami

With a pink-haired Rihanna by his side, ASAP Rocky celebrated his second apparel collection with Puma during Miami F1 weekend.

Jojo Korsh / Jojo Korsh/

The dust has settled.

ASAP Rocky is sitting upstairs at Fundimensions, an arcade in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood, in a makeshift greenroom. He's decked out in pieces from his ongoing Puma partnership: A black and highlighter yellow puffer helmet, T-shirt adorned with a fluorescent racing belt, jean shorts with a Puma logo across the crotch, and a spiky pair of Puma Uni Mostro slip-ons. And we can't overlook the accessories, an "R" ring—a nod to his partner Rihanna—and Baby Milo'd version of himself created by Alex Moss around his neck.

He looks to the right at a TV screen on the far side of the room that's playing the recently-launched video campaign for Puma that he directed and wrote himself. His secretive creative agency, AWGE, helped him execute it. He's not shy about giving himself some props. "This commercial is amazing," Rocky says calmly. "It’s a masterpiece, if you ask me.” He describes it as a mix of German Expressionism and what he calls ghetto futurism.

“I’m a huge fan of Toy Story and shit like that," Rocky tells Complex. "I think Formula 1 needs to have a fun aspect to it. I thought it was very fitting and on brand to do something that felt nostalgic. I’m a man child myself, so it was all fun and games."

Rocky is calm now, marveling at the fantasy world he brought to life on the screen. But minutes earlier, he was living the reality of a hip-hop superstar, mobbed by fans who had been eagerly awaiting his arrival at the Miami pop-up for hours. With Rihanna by his side sporting bubblegum pink hair, the two maneveured around the outdoor area of the activation posing in small-scale red Ferraris, in front of life-sized ASAP Rocky action figures, and on racing podiums inspired by the campaign visuals. The droves of fans moved with them like they were magnetic.

Immediately following the pandemonium, the couple snuck inside of the now-empty arcade to face off in motorcycle racing games and electronic beer pong simulators (talk about a fun date night).

The Miami activation marks Rocky’s second apparel collaboration with Puma F1 that was released on May 3. It's a bit more conceptual than the original drop back in November 2023. Rocky put a lifestyle twist on the gear that F1 fans will see on the track like helmets and fire retardant Nomex suits. Now, they're made out of fleece and nylon, so they can be worn casually, while still providing the same look as what the drivers step out of the paddock wearing on race day.

Logos and prints resembling oil stains cover a crewneck and pants. Driving gloves were coated in a firey mix of orange and red. A pre-distressed balacalva, introduced as part of his first collection, was available in a new neon green color scheme. When asked which pieces from the collection are his favorite, initially he's hesitant. “I think making pieces is like having children. You can’t favoritize,” says Rocky with a laugh. Eventually, he admits that the puffer helmet is at the top of his list. 

“It’s innovative and the first of its kind,” says Rocky. “I think it’s motorsports' first ‘jersey.’ When you go to a football, basketball, or baseball game, you have all these collectibles, things that the players are wearing. This is a replica version of the helmet the driver’s wear. In the winter, it’s amazing to go skiing with. I made the new Pooh Shiesty.” 

The collection also featured Rocky’s first sneaker launch with Puma, a bring-back of the Inhale from 2000. The running sneaker was hand-selected by Rocky after exploring the Puma archive. The Inhale returned in its OG color scheme complete with a melon mesh upper and racecar red used for the branding hits. Various logos to mark the partnership with Rocky were stamped across each insole and a special box.

“This shit is fire. I was just going through the archive like, ‘That’s me right there,’ plain and simple,” says Rocky. “It resonated with me so much. I’m just shocked this design was going on 25 years ago. It’s considered vintage at this point, if not classic.”

But the reason this all feels especially compelling is because of the world that Rocky was able to craft for his the apltly-titled "Child's Play" campaign. The cast of cartoonish characters racing around a toy track bursting with bright colors felt like something out of the Wachowski's Speed Racer. Rocky even dons facial prosthetics to look like an action figure version of himself (who remembers Small Soldiers?). As the ad continues, it shifts to black and white and is revealed that the all of the racing scenery is actually a toy set being played with by children after all, a burst of color in an otherwise bleak world.

There was clearly a lot of thought put into the imagery. Rocky has proven what he can execute when a partner like Puma allows him to flex his creative muscles. And like we said earlier, Rocky isn't shy about being a little cocky when it comes to his creations. He's already added a few more nicknames to signify his exceptional directorial prowess.

"I'm Jiggy Tarentino," says Rocky. "I'm Him Burton."

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