"Sweetheart, I think we've got a bad line... one more time please?" - A$AP Rocky patiently asks me to repeat questions, until he can make sense of what I'm saying through phone-line static. Likewise, I feel like I'm talking to a Transformer being held captive in an intergalactic prison, light years away.
A$AP Rocky is at his most animated, when clarifying why he hates being called a 'rapper'. He says: "I want to be an artist with the capability of rapping." That differentiation is very important to him, and he enthusiastically parleys his point - I only wish that I'd been able to hear more than every third word of his explanation.
It's 1:15pm where A$AP Rocky is, but he sounds like he just rolled out of bed. He's excited to be discussing his upcoming first ever New Zealand tour, but he's also frustrated that so many of his words are being lost via a high-pitched drone that persists for the entirety of the call. Nevertheless, we soldier on to discuss his Florence + The Machine 'I Come Apart' collaboration, being friends with the Haim sisters, and what he'd like his legacy to be...
P.S. Hey Vampire Weekend, A$AP thanks you for using 'Fuckin Problems' as a stage walk-out tune, and says: "What's up?"
"I want to make my own path and leave behind a good legacy for myself and honestly, I just want to be innovative and always down for other people. That's what I want to be remembered by. I want to inspire."
COUP DE MAIN: Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me today! You're going to be in New Zealand soon, on June 25th - how excited are you for your first ever tour here? [Click here for more details on the show.]
A$AP ROCKY: No problem. I'm very excited, I've never been there before so I look forward to seeing what New Zealand is all about.
CDM: Are you bringing any of your A$AP Mob with you? What should we expect from your live show?
A$AP ROCKY: Yeah the A$AP Mob will be with me. A lot of energy and excitement - that's what a lot of my shows are, energy and excitement.
CDM: And congrats on your album 'LONG.LIVE.A$AP' - it's been received so well! It went Top 10 on the albums chart here in NZ too.
A$AP ROCKY: Awww thank you so much! That actually means a lot, thank you!
CDM: Florence + The Machine sings on 'I Come Apart' - how did that collaboration come about?
A$AP ROCKY: She reached out and we made it happen, we cut it and she sent it [vocals] to me - her singing is amazing - and I sent it [the track] back immediately.
CDM: And the Haim sisters sing the background vocals on 'LVL' - did you know them before they sung on the track?
A$AP ROCKY: Yeah, I met 'em at a festival and we've been cool ever since.
CDM: What are your favourite lyrics that you've ever written?
A$AP ROCKY: I don't have any favourite lyrics. Honestly, all of them I love 'em to death - it's the same with songs. I don't have just one favourite lyric, I love them all.
CDM: We're now going to play a game of 'True or False?'. I'll read out a statement and you tell me if it's true or false... There will be more A$AP Rocky mixtapes released in the future.
A$AP ROCKY: Yes, that's true.
CDM: A$AP Rocky makes history on a daily basis.
A$AP ROCKY: I'm going to have to say, true.
CDM: You are prosperous, because you're always striving.
A$AP ROCKY: That's true.
CDM: A$AP Mob are going to rule the world.
A$AP ROCKY: <laughs> Well, that's definitely true.
CDM: You are dating Rihanna.
A$AP ROCKY: False! Definitely false. <laughs>
CDM: You've directed music videos, you're a fashion trend-setter, what other art-forms would you like to explore?
A$AP ROCKY: I don't know... whatever else I can get into? There's just so much out there and so much inspiration... I just want to be tasteful.
CDM: Do you have any plans to design your own clothing range one day?
A$AP ROCKY: No, not at all. I wouldn't mind collaborating with anybody, but I don't want to design anything, I'm not a fashion designer. But you know 'Ksubi' - the Australian jean brand? They're one of my favourite brands of just clothes and stuff, and the Swedish brand 'Acne', but other than that, not at this point in time designing. I wouldn't mind collab'n with those guys though.
CDM: What do you want your legacy to be / remembered for?
A$AP ROCKY: [I want to be] Something that really touched you - and as far as image and change goes, I just really want a lot of people to respect my music and treat me... [as] inspiration. I've got so much in my brain and I want to change the way we think sometimes, you know? But I just want them to grow up and enjoy the music first, I don't want to change the world that's not what my music is about.
CDM: $1.3 million from your $3 million record deal, is invested in funding your label A$AP Worldwide. Is the on-going support of A$AP Mob something that always factors into your business decisions?
A$AP ROCKY: Definitely! Of course. They're my support. Without their support I don't even think I would be A$AP. They're family, those were the first guys I ever signed, you know.
CDM: Is there a mission statement for A$AP Mob?
A$AP ROCKY: It's just a collective of different various bodies who want to showcase their talents as individuals and that's really about it.
CDM: This is a question we're asking everyone for our next issue... what's the most despicable thing you've ever done?
A$AP ROCKY: I would have to say... probably, violent things I've done when I was younger, was probably the most despicable thing that I've ever done.
CDM: What's left on your bucket-list that you'd really like to achieve?
A$AP ROCKY: I just want to make my own path and leave behind a good legacy for myself and honestly, I just want to be innovative and always down for other people. That's what I want to be remembered by. I want to inspire.
CDM: And lastly, do you have a message for your New Zealand fans?
A$AP ROCKY: Keep it true! <laughs>
A$AP Rocky's debut album 'LONG.LIVE.A$AP' is out now - featuring the singles, 'Goldie', 'Fuckin' Problems' and 'Wild For The Night'.
Click HERE to read Coup De Main Issue #8.
Watch A$AP Rocky's 'Fuckin' Problems' music video featuring Drake, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar below...