Hitting newsstands worldwide on February 7, Complex Magazine’s latest cover story features emcee, A$AP ROCKY, and controversial and bold designer Jeremy Scott, who both sat down for an in-depth interview about the duo’s rise to stardom. While both have been intertwined over the years courtesy of Scott’s designs, this was the first opportunity for the mutual admirers to get together and thank each other for in-directly helping putting one another in the pop culture zeitgeist. Read choice excerpts below and head over to Complex to read the cover story by Joe La Puma in its entirety.
You’ve name-dropped Jeremy in a bunch of songs. When did you first notice his designs?
A$AP: Around 2008. We started doing the whole thing. He used to come out with Mickey Mouse shit, three tongues, African patterns and shit. I started getting exclusive shit from France. I liked it so much because the only way you can find it is if you go on eBay, and you’re paying double. There’s no way an average person is gonna have it.
Jeremy: Can I ask you a question? What does A$AP stand for?
A$AP: It stands for “Always Strive and Prosper.” Which is cool, because it’s a positive thing. It’s constructive. People forget how important the youth is sometimes. They determine the future, you know? We respect our elders, so it’s an honor for us to have recognition from you guys. Rick Owens, Raf Simons, Jeremy Scott—that means a lot to us. Just like Jay-Z, Nas, and 2Pac—you guys mean that to us. Seriously.
Jeremy: Thank you, thank you.
A$AP: This is more than just a rapper and a designer getting together. This is bringing the cultures together and clashing them.
A$AP, you’ve called yourself the flyest motherfucker on earth.
A$AP: I might have said that when I was high or something. [Laughs.]
What do you think this cover with Jeremy will do for your fashion cred?
A$AP: Everything. Because this guy’s a legend. He’s our hero, and we love what he does.
You both push the envelope in your respective fields. Is that what’s most important to you, doing your own thing?
A$AP: My own thing is all that matters to me. And it feels good when I get props for doing what’s best for me. I like when people admire it and relate to it.
Jeremy: The only box I’m in is a shoebox. That’s my challenge every time—to push the boundaries, to constantly be challenging, and at the same time doing what I feel is right. It’s easy to make something absurd. Sometimes people say, “Whoa”—like what I’m doing is crazy. It’s not for everyone. I have a special role and I take it deadly serious. I spend my life, all of my waking hours, working and thinking and trying to create and perfect new ideas.
How important is getting cosigned by your peers for each of you?
A$AP: Very important, it’s one of those things that you feel grateful for.
Jeremy: I feel lucky that people who came before me have given me mad props. I can’t find a better example than Mr. Lagerfeld. It’s so flattering. He’s the most iconic fashion designer of our time. To have him champion me so fully and let me into his world, these are things that I never expected when I was in school thinking about fashion.
Why do you think hip-hop is so fascinated with fashion and vice versa?
A$AP: As black people it was our thing to show that we’re not living in poverty and that we can afford extravagant things—that kind of stuck with us. So when our great-grandparents were putting on their favorite outfits, it was to put on a front for the hard times. And hip-hop is a bunch of people that never had nothing. Fashion is just an expression. It’s an art. It expresses your taste. Good taste is important in hip-hop. I wake up saying I’m going to look the best I can and do what the fuck I want to do. And that’s what it’s all about. I don’t know if I articulated it good because I’m pretty high right now—and I have a lisp and I’m going to Mars right now.
Jeremy: [Laughs.] The thing is hip-hop is one of the only communities that really started its own trends.
Jeremy: That’s why I’ve always been inspired by hip-hop artists, because they transform things—even just the jean, turning it around, inside out, sagging it—all these different things. Yes, of course we get little things from other music movements, but hip-hop has been like, Pow! It’s really inspiring and it’s the only new music that has come along in eons. Rock and roll has been around—it’s changing forms. But hip-hop is major.
A$AP: That is so crazy.
A$AP, you’ve talked about this before, but why do you still think there’s homophobia and ignorance in rap?
A$AP: I’m not homosexual. That’s not where I’m at with my life. But I can still be greatly inspired by a homosexual. It has nothing to do with their sexuality. If I start discriminating against people, that will stop me as a person. That’s ignorant. What the fuck does that have to do with anything? It’s not like I want to date this motherfucker—I’m inspired by this dude. This isn’t about fashion, it’s what he personally did for me. I’m not saying I’m going to be an activist. I want to enlighten those brothers. I used to be like them, but I’m a grown-ass man. I don’t care what another man does with his time.
Jeremy: Why does it exist in the world? I don’t know. It’s just one of those things. I don’t know why people care about what other people do. When this becomes an issue in politics, that’s the thing that boggles my mind. I heard on CNN that Republicans won’t get behind Mitt Romney because of abortion and gay marriage. Why do you care?