By Benjamin Meadows-Ingram, New York
RCA Records’ ASAP Rocky was just a few songs into his headlining set at New York’s The Fillmore at Irving Plaza on Wednesday night when he asked the sold-out crowd if it wanted an encore.
“Y’all were trill for “Pretty Flacko,”" Rocky said, referring to his recently released song, the night’s set opener, while pacing the stage dressed in all black and with a Black Scale ‘Funeral’ snapback baseball cap twisted to the back. The lights were purple and dim and on the floor in front of the stage swam a sea of fans of all stripes, at least one woman surfing above it all on a set of shoulders. “You want to hear it again?”
Some in the crowd yelled, others milled about, and a least a few industry vets in the back cracked jokes about an upstart artist offering an encore so early in a set.
“Nah,” Rocky said from the stage. “If you want to hear that “Pretty Flacko” again, ya’ll are going to have to get louder than that!”
The hometown crowd, live and engaged all night, played ball, and as the woozy first notes to “Pretty Flacko,” a Spaceghostpurp-produced record that could double as a warning of the zombie apocalypse blared through the speakers and projections of two large rotating skulls danced on black screens hung over the stage, ASAP and members of his ASAP Worldwide Crew dashed about yelling, “Hands up! Hands up!” Seconds later 1017 Brick Squad/Warner Bros.’ Waka Flocka Flame emerged from the wings, all camo jacket and dread-swinging flurry, and the packed, pulsing Irving Plaza exploded.
ASAP Rocky is hoping to use the attention he’ll gain in the months leading to the release of his debut record to curb homophobia. The ‘Peso’ rapper recently landed his first cover story of 2012 on Complex’s upcoming edition alongside famed fashion designer Jeremy Scott.
Although the two hadn’t met before the shoot for the cover story, which lands on February 7th, A$AP Rocky indicated that he’s been a fan of Scott since 2008 and explained why he mentions the designer in a number of his songs. “We respect our elders, so it’s an honor for us to have recognition from you guys. Rick Owens, Raf Simons, Jeremy Scott—that means a lot to us. Just like Jay-Z, Nas, and 2Pac—you guys mean that to us. Seriously,” said Rocky.