Currently covering the country with the A$AP Mob for the Too Cozy Tour (I went in Dallas with Anthony who does the Supreme piece, it was lit), A$AP Rocky is prepping a new solo album and rolling out artists like Playboi Carti and Smooky MarGielaa. While music has been first order of biz in 2017, the man with the braids made headlines in recent month by announcing a partnership with Under Armour.
Speaking with GQ’s Will Welch in Philly after a tour stop, Rocky sheds light on the UA partnership and its philanthropic roots:
“People would assume, with me going into a business deal with a sports brand, that it would be all about designing or curating a line—making things more lit. But what I liked about Kevin Plank, the CEO of Under Armour, was that he had a vision. He gives, gives, gives. When you donate or you do charities, it’s not about showing people ‘Look, I’m doing this.’ I was in a shelter myself. And I know that when people be donating and shit, you ain’t get no fly shit at Christmases and all that. You don’t see no money. Pardon my French, but you don’t see no money. So I really want to make a difference. So I got with Kevin and Under Armour so we could open up real rec centers with fly shit in them. Not hand-me-down toys and technology—new stuff. And programs for kids to learn to become entrepreneurs, designers, athletes. They can screen-print their own tees and sell ’em from the store, get that commission on it. I think it’s smart. Those kids need laptops and phones today—that’s their platform. So I want to do something that’s really gonna make a difference, as opposed to fronting with the cameras like, ‘Ah, I’m doing this, doing that.’ We gonna show and prove when we go and design uniforms. We’re gonna start in New York, the tristate area, ‘cause that’s where I’m from. And then go to different junior high schools and high schools throughout the country.”
Welch asks a good question about whether or not the partnership will transfer to A$AP Rocky x Under Armour apparel or sneakers. Rocky, again goes back to the giving aspect of the union but doesn’t throw out eventual product:
“I’m talking about giving away to schools. That’s not selling, bro—you don’t make any money off of that. What are you talking about? I want to facilitate ways for kids to get better education without calling it education, ‘cause that shit sounds boring. I want to make a way for being smart to be cool. There’s nothing wrong with being a thinker. Where I’m from, being smart has a negative connotation—that means you sold out, that means you’re a geek. I’m just trying to say, ‘Fuck all that. This is the plan: You are the future, that other shit is the past, so let’s make a better way.’ And if I feel like designing some shit with Under Armour, I will.”
Definitely peep the whole article at GQ, it’s great with awesome questions from Will and even some from the likes of Raf Simons and Three Stacks. Until then, keep it locked to Nice Kicks for updates on the UA partnership.