A$AP Rocky covers the latest issue of Dazed. He’s promoting music, fashion and fatherhood, but it doesn’t feel like he’s got one specific project coming out. It’s more of a general “check out my life.” The interview was conducted just before Rihanna gave birth to their son and just after he and Rihanna threw a rave/baby-shower. Dazed notes that he almost exclusively refers to Rihanna as “my lady.” He talks a lot about going to Barbados with her to meet her family and his dreams for their son. Some highlights:
His Bajan heritage: “Caribbean culture is big in New York. We had J’ouvert [also known as the West Indian Day Parade] down in Brooklyn, but we were all over the Bronx, Harlem, Queens. Growing up, my dad, my aunts and all my cousins, everybody around was Bajan. We all grew up together. I had the food, the history, the music – calypso and all that shit. Bajan heritage is cool as f–k.
What kind of parent he wants to be: “I will always remind my children to never lose their imagination, even as adults, no matter what. I actually love to watch cartoons – I’ve watched like, Teletubbies, Blue’s Clues, Yo Gabba Gabba, Peppa Pig and Baby Shark. I hope to raise open-minded children. Not people who discriminate. And I’m not trying to describe a saint, but realistically, I just want a cool child with cool parents… Things like diversity and versatility are important, and they’ll be embedded in the household.
On scars & imperfections: “I think scars are like war wounds, they just remind you of where you came from and what you have to show for it. The average person doesn’t have one kind of look. There are plus-size models, people who are heavy-set modelling lingerie now. My lady hires them all the time. We all have scars or imperfections. I think sometimes your scars bring you back to reality. Embrace it. Make it work for you.
Wearing a quilt to the Met Gala: “I didn’t know what she was wearing, she didn’t know what I was wearing. I went to Eli’s spot – Eli Russell Linnetz, he owns the label ERL – and when I walked in there was this quilt just sitting on the couch. I was like, ‘Can I have that quilt?’ And he was like, ‘Well, I actually just thrifted it.’ He had picked out a few looks for me, but I was on his ass about that quilt. And so he stitched it together and made it a custom piece. That’s how I decided to wear a quilt to the Met Gala.
Whether he & Rihanna coordinate their looks: “I think it’s just natural. We happen to look good together naturally. You know, it would take a lot of work to have us forcefully match before we leave the house. Sometimes we match to a T, or we just wear the same clothes. If I buy a shirt that she likes, I expect to get it stolen… but then I gotta steal it back.
He’s really into the 1960s: “You know how in the 50s, people watched TV in black and white? Guys like Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and The Beatles wore suits, fresh cuts, uniforms. Then the 60s brought colour TV, and The Beatles took all the money they made and splurged on what they loved: going to India, tripping out on psychedelics, playing the sitar and spinning records backwards. They were experimenting because they could afford it, and doing something so weird it became a new genre… People [are] still trying to catch up with the 60s… I don’t think this is a time where experimental sh-t is accepted. You won’t hear it on the radio. Shout-outs to the pioneers who still take risks and do what they want.
I agree with him that experimental sh-t is not “accepted” in today’s society. Genuinely experimental, genuinely pioneering artists are rarely recognized as such these days because culture and art has become too homogenized. Everybody dresses alike, everyone listens to the same sh-t, etc. I also like what he says about knowing that the home they create for their son needs to be diverse and versatile. And the sh-t about the quilt… omg.
Cover courtesy of Dazed, additional photos courtesy of Backgrid and Instar.