It's been more than two years since A$AP Rocky gifted fans with an album, a la At. Long. Last. ASAP, and in the time since its release the Harlemite has shifted his talents to fashion and entrepreneurship -- leaving many fans and members of the rap community to wonder whether or not Rocky is still invested in his music career.
And if you ask Joe Budden, the 29-year-old still has a load to prove as a result of this.
During Tuesday's (October 24) episode of Everyday Struggle, Joe formally addressed his "issues" with the "Flacko Jodye" rapper following Rocky's in-depth interview with GQ in which he details the creative process behind his forthcoming album. According to the New Jersey native, Rocky is solely responsible for his lack of recognition in hip-hop as an emcee. "A$AP Rocky has done this to himself," Joe begins his lengthy statement. "A$AP Rocky is beautifully dressed all the time. It looks great."
The Slaughterhouse frontman then goes on to point out that in using a fashion platform to promote his new album Rocky is further distancing himself from his musical roots. "Actually all that sh*t that [Rocky] is addressing here, [he's] addressing in a GQ article," Joe adds. "This is not even a hip-hop f*cking outlet."
"A$AP Rocky is one of the gentlemen from New York. When he came on the scene him and his squad made a huge impact," Joe continues. "It was different. And it was provocative. It was dope that this crew from Harlem was attractive to other places that wasn't New York. So I credit A$AP Rocky and the Mob with a lot of that early on."
"When A$AP Rocky was focused on music, you could just tell. You can tell when he's focused on music. He's immensely talented and n**as f*ck with him. He's cultivated his own cult fan base. But he can't blame anybody for not looking at him as the great musician that he thinks he is. He has shifted the focus."
Joe also implies that Rocky needs to start applying pressure to his cohorts, namely Travis Scott. Take a look at the short clip below.
Nonetheless, Rocky attests that he has been hard at work to return to the mic. Following the success of his ASAP Mob croonies' projects, including Playboi Carti and A$AP Ferg, the rapper is ready to experiment with "new sounds." "My new album is really about testing new sounds," Rocky told GQ. "People are scared to test new sounds, so they go with what's current, 'cause it's the easy thing to do. I don't just rap -- I actually make music. That's why it takes time. These sonics represent me.”
Take a look at Joe Budden's full remarks on A$AP Rocky below.
(Photos from left: Bennett Raglin/BET/Getty Images, John Phillips/Getty Images for GUCCI)