When A$AP Rocky's new album, At.Long.Last.A$AP, dropped earlier this week, there was one song in particular that seemed to grab the attention of listeners, and it wasn't his Kanye West collab or the Lil Wayne feature. Instead, it was a track called "Better Things," where Rocky spews some vile lyrics in the direction of pop star Rita Ora.
"First off, this song, it's old," the rapper told "Sway in the Morning," on Wednesday, addressing the public reaction and considerable pushback. "It's one of the older songs on the album. What I will say is, I got into a lot of trouble over her at times when I didn't need to. She caused a lot of grief. So, at that time, for me, it was just like, you know."
The rhymes in question, by the way, are these: "I swear that bitch Rita Ora got a big mouth/ Next time I see her might curse the bitch out/ Kicked the bitch out once ’cause she bitched out/ Spit my kids out, jizzed up all in her mouth and made the bitch bounce."
Rocky says he one of the reasons that he kept the "old" song on the album is because it was a favorite of A$AP Yams, who died in January and worked closely with Rocky for years, including on A.L.L.A.
"For me, I said what I said, and it was an old track. That was one of the joints that I recorded before Yams passed that I knew he really loved."
Though it doesn't sound like he regrets the lyric, the Harlem native does think he could have approached the release of the song a little differently.
"Now, if you ask me another question like, maybe I should have muted her name in it? Maybe I should've. But at the time that's how I felt," he said.
Rocky implies that when he and Rita got together, he was in a relationship with another woman. At some point, word of his infidelity got back to Rocky's then-girlfriend, and he blames Rita for it.
"I got in trouble, that's what I'ma say," he added. "When you get in trouble with women, I'm quite sure everybody could put two and two together; I got in trouble. I wasn't supposed to be doing this with her. I got in trouble. Put it like that. And she got me on purpose."
And while he's not quite apologizing for the misogyny in the lyric -- and that's not the only time that sort of talk appears on the album -- he does sound like he has some level of remorse for the light that it's shining on him, if not for the lyric itself.
"Can I say something? A disclaimer, man," he added. "'Cause I'm starting to feel bad about it, 'cause everybody keep laughing and sh-t, and it's just like one of those situations where it is funny -- it's the truth but I don't wanna make it seem like I'm out here just degrading all women and sh-t and I'm a pig. I mean, at the end of the day, listen, I'm a man, I'm 26, I have fun, I ain't perfect, I am what I am. But I'ma be real. If I feel something in private, I'm gonna say it in public.
"[I don't want to be seen as] sexist or something like that. Or somebody that just degrades women, because that's not the case. At all. I wanted to really just tell y'all what was going on in my life."
Rocky didn't confirm that he was referring to his relationship with model Chanel Iman, but back in March he opened up to MTV News about their breakup.
“Me and Chanel broke up in June and I got really depressed, because I knew that she deserves better than me,” he admitted. “And that’s the truth. Everybody knows it. I don’t wanna be the guy to Lauryn Hill her — if you know what I’m saying." Watch his explanation below.