It's clear from A$AP Rocky's music, his much lauded personal style, and his collaborations with artists like Lana Del Rey that he can't be boxed in. And on his upcoming debut Long.Live.A$AP., the Harlem rapper will really show his range, working with artists like Skrillex and Florence and the Machine.
During his visit to the "Big & Best of 2012" edition of "RapFix Live" on Wednesday, A$AP explained how both artists — an EDM star and a Grammy-nominated indie rock outfit — ended up on his album.
As for Skrillex, friendship preceded the music. "We were friends way before we did the record," he said of his relationship with the all-star DJ/producer. "I used to hang out with him and go to downtown raves and stuff like that. He's a cool cat, and for him to be so successful, he doesn't act like it, and I like that."
A typical night of hanging out turned into an impromptu studio session and that resulted in the appropriately titled track "Wild for the Night." "With me and Skrillex, we was just chillin and we were like 'Yo, let's go to the studio.' He had a show and we were in there raving and acting crazy — I love to find any excuse to act ratchet, any reason and I'm gonna be wylin' — so we went to the studio and it was just organic, we was just chilling."
"Everybody was in the studio getting it right, we had friends over and females getting drunk," he continued. "I had fun that night, had fun making the record and I think everybody else gonna have fun listening to it."
The dynamic was a bit different with Florence and the Machine, whom he hadn't crossed paths with previously, but the collaboration wasn't any less rewarding.
"[Florence Welch] is actually a huge fan and she reached out [to me]," A$AP explained. "I knew about her from winning Grammys and stuff like that, but I'm not gonna sit here and lie — I wasn't too in tune with the music, so when I found out she was fascinated with my style, that's when the infatuation with her came. I just started doing research and I became a fan." With their shared adoration for each other, Welch and Rocky teamed up to create the new track "I Come Apart."
"It's an honor that people from different genres really appreciate my music," A$AP added, humbly. "It's not just categorized or labeled as ignorant hip-hop or just rap. I feel like when you just say 'rap' it limits it."