By Kat Bein
Miami’s witchiest hour got a lot prettier when A$AP Rocky rushed the Mind Melt main stage at III Points over the weekend. The three-night music festival saw headline performances from Erykah Badu, SZA, and Rocky’s musical bestie Tyler, the Creator, who appeared onstage with A$AP Sunday night (February 17) to scream through energetic renditions of “Potato Salad” and “Who Dat Boy.”
Rocky’s set may have been the wildest moment of the weekend. “Distorted Records,” “Praise The Lord (Da Shine),” and more tracks from his latest album, Testing, brawled through the speakers, but it was the second half of the show, with absolute bangers from “Wild For The Night” to A$AP Ferg’s “Plain Jane,” that incited the most gruesome mosh pits.
The New York City rapper is truly a madman with a high-art addiction. MTV News caught up with the high-fashion rapper and “Babushka” enthusiast backstage before his set to hear about Testing and his favorite new fashion accessory, as well as whether or not that WANGSAP collaboration is still a thing.
MTV News: Welcome to Miami. You’ve been here awhile, right? You arrived Friday to play with Tyler, the Creator.
A$AP Rocky: Yeah, that’s a while for me, man, because, Miami is the fast life. Technically I spent about – I don’t know how many dog years. I spent about two Flacko years here.
MTV News: Tell me about your history with Florida. You have Kodak Black on your last album, Testing.
A$AP Rocky: Yeah man, shout out to Kodak. I always wanted to work with him, but aside from that, I wanted to put him on a song that people weren’t used to hearing him on, like, the textures. I don’t make songs. I don’t make clothes. I don’t make music. I make textures. Everything is a texture and a feeling, right? I mean it’s equivalent to it at least, and opposed to having him rapping and trying to go for a No. 1 hit, I had him crying on the phone, explaining his plight, his devastation while on the jail phone.
MTV News: Yeah. It’s really intense.
A$AP Rocky: It’s just him explaining and expressing how his child was taken away from him, and how he was stripped of his dignity and freedom. People, they just want to hear me talk about how I’ve got 100 bitches. How I fucked 100 dude’s bitches all day. That being said, Florida harvests a lot of great artists. You’ve got to pick and choose who you want to represent you, or who can help complement your body of work.
MTV News: I want to hear the story about you using “Porcelain,” the Moby sample. That album was huge for me when it came out, and that’s not a pop-off song.
A$AP Rocky: We reached out to Moby, and once we finally got the OK from him, he re-sang the vocals. We replayed the instruments. He’s also in the end of the “A$AP Forever” video. I feel like his cameo being so short, it was that artistic value like we’ve been talking about — [as] opposed to just, let my nuts hang and saying, “Oh look, I got Moby in the video.” Just like how people don’t know Lauryn Hill played a big part in the last track on that album with Frank Ocean. It’s not just getting it cleared. It’s people re-singing stuff and all that. It’s appreciated. Shout out Dean Blunt. Shout out Hector Delgado, man. Shout outs Frank Ocean and shout out Miss Lauryn Hill.
MTV News: That’s interesting. I was talking with my boyfriend the other day about how Dr. Dre will create beats out of samples and then get musicians to replay those samples.
A$AP Rocky: I think it just brings some type of depth to it. It’s already deep, but when you really think about how much effort – it took a lot just to make these tracks. You could easily just sing or rap on a two-track or instrumental and call it a song.
MTV News: When people put their human element into whatever it is, whether listeners realize they’re registering it or not, that energy is there.
A$AP Rocky: What you get is what you manifest. What you manifest is what you get.
MTV News: What are you manifesting right now? What’s up with the “Babushka” track? I saw a kid out in the crowd, all day he’s been wearing it. People are shouting it out.
A$AP Rocky: I want to encourage more people to wear babushkas. Babushka boy.
MTV News: What inspired it in your own life?
A$AP Rocky: When I got this scar right here. I was skateboarding. I was on the half pipe. Just so you know, I’ve got a new story for everyone who I tell about this scar.
MTV News: So it’s shrouded in mystery, and now a babushka.
A$AP Rocky: But the babushka came because I didn’t want to reveal the scar yet.
MTV News: What’s going on with your collaborative project with Tyler? Is that still in the works?
A$AP Rocky: Nah man, I was bullshitting. Fuck Tyler [laughs].
MTV News: You did show up to his set on Friday though.
A$AP Rocky: Yeah, we did “Telephone Calls.”
MTV News: Is there anything else you want to say or mention?
A$AP Rocky: Shout outs MTV. I used to be part of the staff over there, so shout outs to my ex-comrades and ex co-workers. Hope everybody’s well over there. Shout out the world, shout out to music lovers and music makers across the board. I just hope I stay pretty forever and my spirit stays beautiful.
MTV News: Inside –
A$AP Rocky: And out!