"I'm here with all my brothers tonight, and I never been more happy in my life. Thank you," A$AP Rocky told the crowd on Thursday night (Mar 19) at Samsung's s Milk Music Lounge in Austin. He continued, "Last year was so wack at SXSW I said I wasn't comin' this year. We got to redeem ourselves this year."
With the A$AP Mob by his side Pretty Flacko delivered a captivating performance at his only headlining SXSW concert of 2015. Ferg, Twelvy, Nast, Ant, Illz and Bari were all there in support of their brother and the unity shined through as the late A$AP Yams would have wanted.
He was all smiles while onstage, but after the show in his trailer, Rocky's mood quickly shifted as the reality of not having his best friend by his side on this night took its toll.
"Man, it's weird... it's a blessing... I'm speechless," says Rocky followed by a pause while trying to describe how he feels. "I'm at a loss for words... I wish Yams was here."
As VIBE reminded the rapper about Yams' legacy remaining alive through A$AP Mob's movement, Rocky quickly found his bearings and proceeded to speak in detail about the work he put into his forthcoming sophomore album.
"A.L.L.A. -- it stands for the title of my album. I just don't want to give out the title yet. The A.L.L.A. is because I was named after the God MC himself, Rakim Allah. And, I'm just basically saying it's a return of the real shit. I'm not here to swag it out. I ain't here catwalk it. I'm here to just do me and if y'all don't like my shit -- fuck it. I'm on me so hard right now. I'm making music and experimenting, making sounds that I never even knew existed. Not to make it sound like this album is going to be a circus in a box or something. But I really pushed myself this time. I secluded myself [for] 6 months. In another country with the phones off."
Rocky says he would turn off his phone and avoid the Internet to keep himself from being distracted while recording in London. He credits Red Bull for letting him use their recording studios with privacy.
"It was like discipline. Yams was in rehab [and] I was in London -- recorded this shit. When he got out, we came back out to the States, then we went back out to London for like 2 more months, we toured with the Mob, did the Red Bull Culture Clash," says Rocky while trailing off and getting visibly choked up on his words.
Stay tuned for more from VIBE's heartfelt interview with A$AP Rocky.
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Photo Credit: Briana E. Heard