A$AP Rocky Talks Swedish Legal Saga, Donald Trump & New Music

Also detailing why he isn’t chasing hits and his admiration for Dev Hynes.

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Music
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A$AP Rocky recently sat down with WSJ Magazine for a new interview centered around his hectic 2019, a year where he was incarcerated in Sweden for over a month awaiting a trial on assault charges in which he was ultimately found guilty. What resulted was a surreal timeline of events that saw President Donald Trump get involved (and subsequently get upset). Rocky had previously referred to the 45th President as an “a-hole” and paired him with the Ku Klux Klan on his Testing song “Gunz n Butter.” A$AP was even mentioned in Trump’s impeachment trial and found himself introduced to an entirely new generation of people unaware of his existence previous to the Swedish legal situation.

“[President Trump] called me shortly after I came out. He was just like, ‘How you doing?’ I was like, ‘I’m good.’ I thanked him, and that was really it. Cordial,” Rocky said of his brief conversation with the President. WSJ Magazine then follows up to ask the rapper if he felt Trump was being an opportunistic, trying to turn his incarceration into an opportunity to act on behalf of the African-American community. “Man, I wouldn’t know. That’s a very big possibility. I was just thanking whoever helped me when I was in that sh*t. I wasn’t concerned with anyone’s motivations.”

 

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@asaprocky is our March Men’s Style cover star! The rapper’s career has always been a restless exploration of fashion and musical genres.⁠ ⁠ As a teenager, born and mostly bred in Harlem, he’d take the train downtown, which was filled with weirdo art-kids, ambitious scenesters and transcendent evenings at dance clubs. He grew enamored of high fashion, coveting outré creations by designers like Rick Owens and Raf Simons. Some Harlem toughs gave him funny looks for his outfits, but today Rocky’s credited with interweaving hip-hop and the European runway more than anyone except Kanye West.⁠ ⁠ After last summer’s incident in Sweden made him a household name, Rocky is back to doing what he loves most: experimenting with fashion, riding mosh pits and preparing to drop his fourth studio album. Read more at the link in bio. (?️: Jonah Weiner, ?: #JuergenTeller, styling: @henson) ⁠ ⁠

A post shared by WSJ. Magazine (@wsjmag) on

2019 wasn’t all bad, though. Rocky was hard at work, obsessively recording and putting the finishing touches on his upcoming fourth studio album, and even detailed that he has a gigantic mood board of images throughout his New York City apartment for inspiration. “It’s kind of like a vision board. I compile different points of reference and print ’em out and put them on the walls, so I live in it. It’s like when you go to a police precinct and the detectives have the investigation laid out.” He keeps, “mostly pictures of myself. You gotta analyze who you are as an artist and know yourself better than anybody. Then people can never dictate shit to you.

Later in the article he details his admiration for friend and collaborator Dev Hynes (frequently known as Blood Orange) and details why he’s not trying to chase hit records anymore. Read the full interview over that The Wall Street Magazine and pick up your copy via WSJ Magazine’s March Issue out on newsstands Saturday, March 7.

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