These days, every aspiring Rap star proclaims their career to be a “movement,” but none can truly measure up to the phenomenon that is A$AP Rocky and the A$AP Mob - the click busted through the gates adhering to their mission to Always Strive And Prosper. Since their industry inception at the top of 2011, the crew from uptown with the Houston sound has been thriving off the momentum of their lead track, the super-psychadelic, "Purple Swag." Within months, Rocky signed a multi-million dollar deal for himself and the A$AP imprint with RCA Records, and dropped his first project Live.Love.A$AP to rave reviews.
The formula doesn’t stop at industry buzz for the Mob, they work extremely hard and HipHopDX had a chance to catch up with Rocky and the squad at a recent show in Atlanta. He spoke about Chace Infinite’s (of Self Scientific) position in regard to the Mob, fears of oversaturation, and building pressure to keep the swag going.
HipHopDX: What is Chace Infinite’s involvement in your career? Is he part of your management?
A$AP Rocky: He’s part of the management, mentor, big brother, all that… For all of us.
DX: And Chace’s been in this industry for a minute but coming from a different side, while still sharing similarities with you and your movement. Why was it so important to get him on the team?
A$AP Rocky: Honestly because he had a good heart, that’s all it came from. Money never was the motive for him, and he didn’t get involved with us for money at all. He was just being a big bro to us, really guiding us and giving us wisdom… He make sure we on time… That’s just our extra pair of eyes, that’s our big brother, literally. Our big brother.
DX: Did you guys reach out to Chace or vice versa?
A$AP Rocky: It was mutual, like before this Rap shit, Yams knew about it… You know what I’m saying? I’m telling you, his mission was to make sure that none of these devils tried to rape us. That was his only goal and he’s doing a good job at it.
DX: There are certain dangers in branding a crew too much before they’re solid and established, is that something that worries you?
A$AP Rocky: Nah. I’m not worried about nothing. I’m not pressured ‘bout nothing. I’m worried about how I’ma count all this money and fuck all these bitches. [A$AP Mob murmurs "swag" in the background.] Like, for real, all jokes aside… You know what I’m saying? Nah, I’m fucking with you. I ain’t got no worries though sweetheart, we good. [Laughs]
DX: You’re crazy young at 23 and signed for a lot of money. What are your overall goals for the imprint?
A$AP Rocky: My overall goal is to establish entrepreneurs and businessmen outta all of us, then I can relax and say I accomplished something. Until then, I ain’t do shit.
DX: You hope to get it started with the upcoming compilation project right?
A$AP Rocky: I wouldn’t really call it a compilation because we are a family, it’s just us. We are a group, and I’m really not a solo artist. This is my group and it’s an A$AP album. The A$AP Mob isn’t our official name. It’s just a nickname because sometimes when you just say A$AP, people get it confused with just me so people say: A$AP Mob, A$AP Clan, A$AP Click, all that other shit. But call us what you want… We’re A$AP at the end of the day.
DX: Do you have a blueprint that you’re following or are you playing everything by ear?
A$AP Rocky: Honestly, man, I’m staying true to myself, being organic. Y’all fell in love with what we were doing, before we had a lot of money and people invested in us, so we not gon’ change, we gon’ take it to the essence and that’s what we gon’ keep with it. We gon’ roll with that.
DX: What is it that you’re prepared to deal with in the industry? Because you’re just now getting in and there’s a lot that you probably haven’t even come up on yet…
A$AP Rocky: Hell fucking yeah. You know what I realized man? There’s a real big difference… A really, really drastically big difference between the streets and the industry and that’s just that. There’s no in between gray areas, none of that shit. Street shit-industry shit, when you try to mix it you go down, all the way down, down to Chinatown [A$AP Mob chuckles in the background].
DX: So what are you going to do then? If and when things get to that point…
A$AP Rocky: I’m staying outta trouble, I don’t want no problems. Call me "pussy," I don’t want no problems, I don’t even wanna fight. ‘Cause niggas be bigger than you, and bothering you but if you snuff ‘em, then they wanna sue! What part of the game is that?
DX: What do you think the public expects of all of you at this point?
A$AP Rocky: No disrespect but we not even concerned with how the public feel about us. You know what I mean? ‘Cause the most of those people weren’t even people who supported us, everything is hype right now and we do realize that so we not even getting gassed. We have a lot of work to do and we’re ready, we’re not gonna fail. I’m not worried at all because if everybody knew what we knew right now, they’d have the most confidence and the biggest ego in the fucking world. We’re good. I can guarantee that.