A$AP Rocky recently signed a deal with Sony/RCA subdivision Polo Grounds Music, according to the rapper himself it was for a crazy amount of $3 million dollars ($1.7 million for his solo output and $1.3 million to fund a group label called A$AP Worldwide). Pitchfork recently interviewed him on the subject, check out what he has to say below:
Pitchfork: A lot of rappers are moving away from big record deals and, as recently as last month, it seemed like you didn't want to sign with a major, either. What changed your mind?
A$AP Rocky: About three million dollars. [Other rappers who don't sign] are smart, but I feel like Sony/RCA is a family and the people there actually care about me. When I came to meet [Polo Grounds Music founder] Bryan Leach, I got to know him on a personal level-- he would set up car service for me to go to other labels. He wanted to see me make it. He's from Harlem.
I'm going to have creative control; there's no bullshit. The situation is almost unrealistic. I mean, five months ago I had about $3,000 in my bank account. Now I'm worth $3 million. Nobody's gotten a deal like that since 50 Cent.
Pitchfork: You have a place on blogs and in more underground circles, but you're getting mainstream love and being played on Hot 97, too. Where do you see yourself fitting in?
A$AP: The only thing mainstream about me are my investors. That's it. I can adapt to the radio because I'm a street motherfucker. I can adapt to the underground because I was independent for a while. Up in Harlem and the Bronx, they didn't accept us up until now, until we got Jim Jones, Drake, and Lil Wayne cosigning the weirdo. Now people are like, "Oh, shit. He's really making moves. How much money he got?" And it's like, "Suck a dick."
Really though, I was dating this chick from Czechoslovakia-- is that how you pronounce it? Her dad used to be around the house like, [sings] "Everything is purple." Mind you, this is a rich-ass nigga with a Bentley, all that shit. I've had fucking corporate white niggas come up to me and say, "What's up? I love that shit." I live for that, because the black motherfuckers from Harlem and the Bronx didn't accept us. They thought we were gay.
I'm going to be honest with you-- I used to be homophobic, but that's fucked up. I had to look in the mirror and say, "All the designers I'm wearing are gay." I hear stories about all these industry motherfuckers who are gay, and I don't know if it's true or not, but that shit don't matter. It's so immature.
Pitchfork: It seems like there's a lot of pressure on you to represent and rejuvenate New York hip-hop. How do you feel about other rap coming out of the city right now?
A$AP: [makes thumbs-down gesture] It sucks-- it's cliché shit. Diamonds, cars, aviator shades, Gucci, half-naked bitches, wack-ass beats. When Jay-Z was the only one rapping about that stuff, it was cool. Now it's just so fucking old. Who gives a fuck?
Pitchfork: You represent A$AP as a crew pretty hard, but you've become the de facto leader of the group. Why is that?
A$AP: I'm not the leader [laughs]. People try and focus on me, but Clams is an impeccable producer, and so is Ty Beats, so is Spaceghost. We all became vegetarians about a month ago-- that means these guys are really dedicated. They're on this dark shit with the all-black [clothes], they want to be rebels. I respect it. It's a cult-- they even have codes. They recruited A$AP people from Vancouver, Arizona, Utah. It's a secret society.
But don't get scared-- it's not no Illuminati shit. But it is a brotherhood because the days of racial barriers are over. The days of sexual preference are over-- if you're gay, that's your business. That doesn't stop you from being my brother. If you yellow, you're still my brother. Let's smoke some weed.