A$AP Rocky performs live in MTV Studios.
It's no secret that the MTV Style staff has a giant, throbbing collective fashion crush on A$AP Rocky. Naturally, it was lights out around here when Harlem's finest graced our MTV studios for this week's productivity-halting Big and Best in 2012 live event. Pretty Flacko hit up RapFix Live for a special interview with our very own Sway Calloway to discuss his forthcoming debut studio album, Long. Live. A$AP (out in 2013), AND to premiere a track from said album. We were sure there would be a lot of music talk during the A$AP visit, what with promoting the new project and all, but we were pleasantly surprised by the amount of (relatively unprovoked) fashion chatter and even some heartfelt advice that peppered Rocky and Calloway's chinwag! Then again, we should have probably expected as much from a dude who video chats with Alexander Wang.
The segment kicks off with Sway talking up A$AP's style, "I even changed my boot game because I knew he was coming today." He introduces Rocky and the overarching point of the interview — his new album coming out in January — and in walks A$AP wearing all black except a BIG, chunky, cable knit oatmeal scarf that's draped, not wrapped, around his neck. His back turns to the camera for a brief moment, revealing the label of his backwards snapback: Stussy. Sway goads A$AP for fashion affirmation, "Okay, let me see. Let's put the shoe game up next to each other real quick. How am I doing, man?" Sway is wearing charcoal suede boots with a floppy tongue, and A$AP is wearing high top sneakers in a light gray and white colorway. "It's sharp," Rocky says, "Are those Red Wings?" Calloway isn't sure, and while they both laugh, he takes a little stab in the dark, "They could be Red Wings! If they're Red Wings, do I get extra points?" A$AP, ever the gentleman, responds, "You got points. A$AP Sway in the building!" Our hearts explode all over our computer monitors. This mutual fanning out is the cutest of all cutes. If that's demasculinizing, I'm sorry, but I'm nerding out because AHHHHHH, this is THE. BEST.
+ WATCH A$AP ROCKY ON 'RAPFIX LIVE'
They sit down to talk about the 2012 VMAs and that Rihanna butt-squeeze. The conversation quickly turns back from music to fashion as A$AP applauds Miss Fenty's taste while explaining why it makes sense for them to be touring together in March, "Honestly, like, half of the chicks that consider themselves, like, you know, to be, fashionably forward and stuff — they look up to Rihanna. She has a lot of style and stuff, and I think that's what she saw in me." He goes on to explain how Rih may have been drawn to him because they're similarly eclectic and how they have a mutual artistic respect for each other, but ever the charmer, he follows up with, "And, you know, the fact that I'm handsome helped, you know what I'm saying?" sending Sway and the studio audience up in chuckles.
Sway dives into that eclectic nugget, speaking to today's music climate and how this generation is the simultaneous beneficiary of both years of built up hard work and a distinct lack of limitations. He uses that as a jumping point to talk about the Skrillex and Florence + the Machine appearances on the new album, and A$AP goes in on his desire to express himself freely in both music and style regardless of stereotypes. Sway opens up questions to the studio audience, and there's an adorable moment where A$AP hands over his own mic and plays live correspondent with a little "Thanks, John" after the dude asks his question. Our pupils explode with cartoon hearts. Then, Sway brings out another A$AP fan: Vinny Guadagnino. HOW DOES THIS KEEP GETTING BETTER???
+ WATCH VINNY AND A$AP ROCKY ON 'RAPFIX'
The two engage in a hilarious exchange wherein Vinny invites A$AP over to his parents' house for dinner and we learn that Rocky is a vegetarian. It's after Vinny leaves, though, that we get the juiciest fashion Easter egg of the entire visit. A$AP illustrates what the intersection of music and fashion means to him, essentially lobbing up our MTV Style bread and butter, and they're so intrinsically linked for him that he does so without being explicitly asked. "[Music is] supposed to inspire people to move forward or just to make their day better or to change their lifestyle and stuff like that," he explains, "That's what music is for. So when I see dudes wearing high-end designers that they [weren't] wearing a year ago and rips in their jeans and gold teeth and these nappy braids and stuff? I just look at it like we're doing something right." He expresses appreciation for the growing acceptance of high-end fashion but acknowledges there are still hang ups. "I was just on 106 & Park the other day with an over-sized shirt on, and everybody was talking about [how] I wore a dress," he lamented to Sway, "That's foul."
From there, A$AP Rocky launches into a full-on pep talk, encouraging everyone to just be themselves, "Wear what you want. Nothing matters. Nobody else's opinions matter. Be the person that starts the trend, you know what I mean?" It's the kind of stuff that, with limitless funds, we'd format into vinyl wall decals and post up all over our apartments. "If you're different, be you, you know what I mean? If you're normal, be you! Whatever. Just be you," he continues, "That's all I'm saying. And you're going to have times when people are going to try to joke on you. They're gonna try to play you and all that, and that just comes with life, you know what I'm saying? You gotta keep it striving, and always know that if they're talking, you're doing something right." *wipes away single happy tear* YEA, you tell 'em, A$AP!
Then, Sway drops a reference to Harlem World, Ma$e comes out from backstage, I'm momentarily convinced that I'm watching an episode of Oprah's Favorite Things, and A$AP is so caught between being excited and having to make his live performance call time that he nearly leaves his scarf behind on the RapFix couch. <3 See it all for yourself here, here, and here!
+ WATCH A$AP ROCKY PERFORM 'PESO' LIVE
+ WATCH A$AP ROCKY PERFORM 'GOLDIE' LIVE
+ WATCH A$AP ROCKY PERFORM 'LONG. LIVE. A$AP' LIVE