“Hey! I need a fork!” In a secluded backroom at Sony Music’s London office, Harlem-born A$AP Rocky has just taken delivery of a consignment of Nando’s but has realised too late that he doesn’t have anything with which to eat his “Macho peas”. Improvising, he tears the corner off the carton and starts spooning them into his mouth with a shrug: “I’m so ghetto, look at what I do!” This might be his first time in London, and his first taste of that patented Peri Peri, but the 23-year-old’s reputation precedes him. Since he announced himself to the world with “Peso” late last year (with its catwalk-friendly line “Raf Simons, Rick Owens, usually what I’m dressed in”) he’s signed a $3m deal with Sony and become known as the East Coast MC with an eye for fashion that’s as high as he is. Slouching back on a sofa, he talks to GQ.com about why he isn’t a gangster, the $2,500 trainers he won’t wear and why you should think twice before copying Tupac’s tattoo…
GQ.com: Can you talk us through what you’re wearing today?
A$AP Rocky: A Black Scale t-shirt, Ksubi jeans, a Pigalle hoodie, a Givenchy-inspired biker jacket and a Comme Des F*** Down beanie. I’m pretty regular today. These Rick Owens shoes are my favourites – they look like military space boots. I’ve been into fashion since I was about eight years old. Not high fashion, of course but urban fashion: Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica, Guess and Iceberg.
How do you make your favourite drink?
Sprite, Promethazine-codeine and ice in a polystyrene cup, then drop in some Jolly Ranchers. They sink and dissolve and give the flavour. That’s what we call “Purple Swag”. If you drink it then that night you can’t drink liquor. The first time you do it you’ll just be knocked out and snoring. The second time, everything will be s-l-o-w. Sometimes it’s purple and it just puts you in this melodic state where everything is wavy and spacey and psychedelic.
I dress how I feel. I just go off emotion.
What advice do you have about getting a tattoo?
I only have one: like Tupac had “THUG LIFE” I’ve got “A$AP LIFE” across my stomach. It hurt like a bitch. I took about five bathroom breaks, three water breaks and two breathers. It was like I was in labour. The second he started to put the needle to my skin I wanted to stop, man. That’s the worst pain I’ve ever had to endure in my whole life.
What’s your key style rule?
I dress how I feel. I just go off emotion. I can’t prepare my outfit a day before. Everything I wear is spontaneous.
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