On April 8th, Harlem-bred MC A$AP Rocky held an intimate lecture session in central London’s St Pancras hotel, as part of the Red Bull Music Academy UK Tour. Perched atop the same sofa on which he crafted much of his latest album at Red Bull Studios London, A$AP Rocky lifted the veil on the forthcoming LP ‘At.Long.Last.A$AP‘ and his love for London, with a few surprises thrown in along the way.
Hosted by i-D’s music editor Hattie Collins, the lecture offered a rare glimpse into the man behind the music, Rakim Mayers, whose stock started out somewhere between his two home neighbourhoods, Harlem and the Bronx. Inviting NYC rap legend Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) up from his front row seat, the pair spoke of their mutual respect as Rocky credited the Yasiin with being one of the driving forces behind his initial recognition.
Touching on his love of UK grime, London architecture, and respect for homegrown talent Skepta, Kano, Tempa T and King Krule, he also let slip that before his first trek across the pond, his visions of the UK were of roller-skate-clad policemen and pink crisps. Older and somewhat wiser, his impressions of the capital are now influenced by the historic architecture and rich musical history that forms the bedrock of the city.
Find out more: www.redbullmusicacademy.com/uktour #RBMAUKTour
A$AP Rocky’s Red Bull Music Academy lecture in London can be viewed here: