A$AP Rocky is keeping busy. The 26-year old rapper from Harlem is fresh off a Sundance-lauded acting debut in a drug-dealing flick called Dope, but knee-deep in putting together his new album.

“I’m named after Rakim, and I’m finally facing what it means: I was born to do this shit,” the A$AP frontman tells GQ for a new feature. “And I hope I get to do it for a very long time.”

“I’m claiming ownership of my legacy,” Rocky also says, continuing the Rakim comparison. “Look at it: At.Long.Last.A$AP. A-L-L-A. Like slang for ‘Allah.’ It’s the return of the god MC.”

If the music doesn’t work out, which is unlikely, he’s quickly built up a new career for himself. “I was sober the entire time,” he says of playing a drug-dealer named Dom in his new film, Dope. “My character’s smoking cigarettes ’cause I didn’t want to pretend to smoke weed.”

The new record he’s working on, his sophomore effort, is apparently another departure for Rocky, who says he’s finally facing the reality of the fact that he was born to do this. Rocky hasn’t shied away from taking risks in either music or fashion and his new album sounds like it may surprise his longtime fans. Maybe inspired by the moves Kanye West has been making of late, GQ reports that Rocky is singing on the record and that acoustic guitar is an important character throughout.

For now, the Long.Live.A$AP star is packing up and getting ready to leave the Hollywood home where he’s been hanging his head lately. “I’m gonna miss it here,” he says. “This was a place to fuck chicks, and I’ve outgrown it.”

Meanwhile, one thing we can likely expect in the new music is grief. Just months after the death of A$AP Yams―an A&R and spirit guide to Rocky and his entire music collective― the rapper doesn’t seem to have fully dealt with the loss. “Mentally I wasn’t even there,” he says.


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