(Photo: Interview Magazine)
A$AP Rocky is baring his teeth in the April issue of Interview and we're not just talking about flaunting his grill on the cover. The Harlem-native née Rakim Mayers spoke with designer Alexander Wang about using fashion to showcase his individuality, experiencing the open-mindedness of downtown NYC, and why he feels it's sad homophobia still exists.
"I came up in a world that was just crazy — and it was hectic and kind of radical at the same time. For me, growing up in Harlem and then migrating down to SoHo and the lower East Side and chillin' down there and making that my stomping ground… That was a big thing, because I'm from Harlem, and downtown is more artsy and also more open-minded. So I got the best of both worlds. It was like being on the streets and then being in school at the same time, and I tried to keep my hands in everything just so I wasn't missing out on any fun. I just always wanted to be knowledgeable of my whereabouts, my surroundings and what was going on with our generation," he says.
And with that liberation came the acceptance of other cultures and lifestyles, and now that he has a platform to speak on the issues that concern him, he wants to be heard.
"For instance, one big issue in hip hop is the gay thing. It's 2013, and it's a shame that, to this day, that topic still gets people all excited. It's crazy. And it makes me upset that this topic even matters when it comes to hip hop, because it makes it seem like everybody in hip hop is small-minded or stupid — and that's not the case."
"We've got people like Jay-Z. We've got people like Kanye. We've got people like me. We're all prime examples of people who don't think like that. I treat everybody equal, and so I want to be sure that my listeners and my followers do the same if they're gonna represent me. And if I'm gonna represent them, then I also want to do it in a good way."
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