I remember last summer when I was inside the barber shop in Harlem, over on 123rd and Lexington, I first heard A$AP Rocky’s single “Purple Swag.” He didn’t even have a deal at that time but he was already buzzing in the streets of NYC, thanks to the Interweb. Rocky does not sound like the average New York rapper. His sound was heavily influenced by the South (Houston). Exclaim! sat down with Rocky for an interview. He talked about when he first was introduced to Houston rap, Dipset, Big L, doing a collabo album with Schoolboy Q and much more. Below are some excerpts:
You grew up in Harlem. What were you listening to as an uptown kid?
Wu-Tang Clan, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, that’s about it.
How did you get introduced to Houston rap?
It was mostly through [crew member/business manager] A$AP Yams, it hit the scene pretty hard in 2003 until 2006. It stuck onto me. When I joined A$AP, they were into the whole Houston culture, sipping lean, all that other shit, so it was just natural.
What about the Houston sound and culture clicked for you?
Because nobody else was doing it no more. I really love it, I enjoy it. I spoke to a wise man not too long ago, he said he didn’t make up the “Fo shizzle nizzle my dizzle”, but he said it was a rapper in the Bay [Area] by the name of E-40. But he said that he created it, and people kinda said he was the creator of [that slang]. And that’s all I’m doing right now. You couldn’t tell the Wu-Tang Clan that they weren’t influenced by the Shaolin Temple. They never been there before, they probably didn’t even know any Asian people! But they went hard with that. That’s how it is with A$AP and Houston. Same thing.
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