Your latest video Dope has been out for just a week: it’s pretty hardcore… what was the inspiration behind it?
I wanted to do something innovative, groundbreaking and jaw-dropping for this song which is why I teamed up with Pornhub for the premiere. The inspiration behind it is my love for weed and women.
Your album Flytrap was three years in the making: how come it took so long?
The project didn’t necessarily take 3 years, I had some growing to do as an artist and human being. In addition to that, I also didn’t feel like it was time for me to release an album yet.
Whereas your Pro Era crew member Joey Badass is working with more old school beats you seems to focus on a fresher sound: who inspires you musically?
I feel like people try to box Joey into that sound and he’s a universal artist as well as me. I don’t necessarily focus on a fresher sound, it’s just what I was influenced by as I create this album.
There’s a lot of work on this album musically: it seems to be layered and deeper sonically than your previous releases. How come?
I feel like I’ve finally figured out my sound and what I want to do musically. Before, I was afraid to sing because I wanted to be recognized as the greatest rapper of all time. Now, I’m trying to make the best music I’ve ever made and keep evolving as an artist.
Did you work on the music personally?
I wrote everything on the album, co-produced two songs, and a few different producers from around the world provided the rest of the beats for me to rock over.
In this album you talk about depression: why was it important for you to talk about this subject?
I wasn’t trying to tackle the subject directly, it happened naturally because that’s how I felt when I lost my grandfather. I was worried about showing my vulnerable side but I’m glad I expressed myself. So many people have reached out to tell me how these songs have saved their life and to know that it could help them without me intentionally trying is an honor.
Who are your fashion icons?
Kanye West in his Pastelle prime, Pharrell, Dipset, & my homie Niles.
Where does your fashion style come from? Just from the street or from Instagram?
Myself. I like to wear things that no one else has. I don’t steal people’s style from the street or Instagram, that’s for the bums that are out of touch.
What are you gonna get up this summer?
Gonna put out some dope merch, new music, and I’ve got a few shows lined up.
PHOTOGRAPHER: ALESSANDRO ZUEK SIMONETTI
STYLE: FABIOLA DI VIRGILIO
STYLE ASSISTANT: CHIARA MANZONI
TALENT: CJ FLY
MODEL: CORA KEEGAN @NEXT
MAKE-UP: KATIE MELLINGER
HAIR: CLAY NIELSEN
CASTING DIRECTOR: SIMONE BART ROCCHIETTI @SIMO BART
INTERVIEW: OLIVER DAWSON