Insider Tips of the Week: A$AP Rocky, Ed Sheeran
Insider Tips of the Week: A$AP Rocky, Ed Sheeran

While Harlem hip-hop hero A$AP Rocky is hard at work on his debut studio album for Polo Grounds/RCA/A$AP Worldwide, the rapper tells Billboard.com that "Ridin'," a collaboration with Lana Del Rey that leaked last week and was quickly removed from the web, will likely make it onto the final album.

"I might not put it out before because people already know what it is," says Rocky. "It sounds crazy so far though. We were just gonna call it 'My Bitch,' but we're not gonna get much play with that, so we called it 'Ridin'.' [The song] is some Bonnie and Clyde shit."

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Although the pairing of the magnetic MC and bluesy pop singer might be a little confusing on paper, Rocky's affinity for Del Rey's music helped orchestrate the collaboration.

"You didn't know about me being a huge Lana Del Rey fan? That's all I kept talking about all winter," says the rapper. "I first had had a crush on her from seeing her on the Internet -- I fell in love with her voice the first time I heard it. I probably heard it in July, August for the first time, I think it was 'Blue Jeans.' And from then on, I'm likeā€¦ I love her! Mind you, we never even spoke to each other, and then in Complex [magazine], when she said I was her favorite rapper, I was like, 'Oh fuck no, man. I gotta work with her! My dream girl acknowledges me!'"


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Along with Del Rey, Rocky has been in the studio with a handful of heavy hitters for his proper debut, which follows last fall's acclaimed "LiveLoveA$AP" mixtape. "I'm also working with Santigold, Pharrell, Hit-Boy -- a few people, man. It's getting crazy," he says. For his collaboration with Hit-Boy, who produced The Throne's "N***as in Paris" and Kanye West's new banger "Theraflu," Rocky says he doesn't utilize his "usual flow that everybody's so familiar with. I went kind of hard, but it was cool, it was easy. You'll see."

Most importantly, A$AP Rocky stresses how grateful he is for the shot that Polo Grounds/RCA has given him, and how excited he has become about his new material. "Honestly, I just want to do my best," he says. "I don't plan on being the best rapper alive or the worst rapper alive, or even consider [myself] as a rapper. I just want to be an artist and do my best, and be a great businessman, an entrepreneur that paves the way for people, for generations to come behind me. I just want to have longevity and create a legacy for me and my boys."

Check out the video for A$AP's "Peso" below:

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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