In the early 2010s, a young crew from Harlem emerged in the scene and took the world by storm, many captivated by their unique sound and sense of style. I’m talking about A$AP Mob, whose members have undeniably shifted not only the music landscape, but the fashion one as well.
A$AP Twelvyy, currently walking the fine line between mainstream and underground, is poised to be the next member in the Mob to blow. His next album, Noon Yung, is set to release on October 9th, with the first single “S.N.L” (Satellites and Limousines) dropping this Friday, September 18th.
We hopped on a Zoom call to chat with A$AP Twelvyy about his upcoming album, as well as his Last Year Being Broke(n) clothing line. Check out the interview, as well as a preview of the upcoming single, down below.
You released Before Noon the mixtape as an appetizer for the upcoming album Noon Yung. A lot has gone down in 2020 in the span the recording of the two projects, with the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests. How has that affected the sound of this album?
2020 has been like an adventure, a roller coaster, everything. If you haven’t been inspired to create anything, I don’t know, you’re missing out. So everything’s been going, the year has been given me the energy to write, to create, to do deals, to do art, to do everything, and it made the music so much better because it gave it so much content. Usually it takes a while for you to live, experience moments, but this year everyday is like, “Oh, is this it? Is this it? Oh, we waiting for the aliens?” Everything’s just been extravagant and the music shows that. And I’m happy that I had the time to create. I needed 2020. 2020 just made the music so much better.
From your lyrics and subject matter, it’s clear that you’re really about that street life, but there’s also references to stuff like video games. Can we expect more Metal Gear Solid bars on Noon Yung?
(Laughing) Exactly. That’s like a secret… that’s a code, you know what I’m saying. So if you know, you know. La-Li-Lu-Le-Lo.
Right. I even saw that you’re streaming on Twitch now. How important are video games to you?
I love creating while playing video games. I’ve been like that since a kid, you know I would play games and listen to music. I kinda got into that with Xbox when you could upload your CDs onto the Xbox. It’s been in my writing process for about 15 years, you know what I’m saying. It goes hand in hand, me and video games.
I’ve had the opportunity to have my music on Need For Speed before, NBA 2K before. It’s like, I want to get into creating the musical scores for video games and shit like that. I love video games bro. In “Madden 95,” the whole aesthetic of the song is inspired by playing Madden on Genesis, which was a big deal back in the day. Madden Live and stuff like that. Today imma wake up and play mothafuckin 2K, Ghost of Tsushima, imma play Tony Hawk. I’ve been on Twitch for a while too, I just had to stop cuz I felt like, “yo let me get outside and get back into the world.”
So you’ve talked about your love of video games, but there’s also some other “nerd culture” stuff that you’re into, such as cartoons and anime like Spawn, Dragon Ball, Gundam. Are there any other cartoons or anime that you’re into that people aren’t aware of?
Like on some vintage shit like Gigantor, umm Berserk. Berserk is one of my favorite animes/mangas. I had the video game for Dreamcast, Guts’ Rage. There’s one I think it’s called Gleipnir, it’s like with this giant furry-looking animal, this plush animal that’s like crazy. You know, I like Æon Flux, the MTV version not the Charlize Theron version, I didn’t really like that version. (laughs) Umm, and even on some like animated Mulan shit. I ain’t see the Mulan that everyone’s talking about right now that they don’t like, but the original Mulan is one of my favorite joints. I love cartoons, I love toys. I actually got my own cartoon coming out called Jamal & The Rotten Apple. There’s gonna be action figures and plushes and all that.
That’s dope! I also wanna talk about LYBB clothing. You started the clothing brand based on your single “Last Year Being Broke.” What was the inspiration for adding the (n) to make it Last Year Being Broke(n)?
The (n) was inspired by the brand Number (N)ine, you know how they had like certain shit in parentheses. I felt like having the (n) gave it definition. It went from Last Year Being Broke to Last Year Being Broken, so it’s not just a financial thing, it’s also a spiritual mantra. Right now, I feel like we’re probably at our most broken point, you feel me? And there’s beauty in the breakdown and breakthrough. So I just wanted to define the moment of being broken and how you can use that as a way to fix yourself, fix your path. And it’s very therapeutic, cuz I use Last Year Being Broke everyday to better myself, to define myself on this path, and now I’m on my First Year Being Revolutionary path.
What about the logo? What’s the inspiration behind LYBB’s bull logo?
The bull, there’s a few reasons behind that. One is because Yamborghini, you know rest in peace A$AP YAMS, the founder, one of my best friends he passed away. His favorite basketball team and his favorite player was Derrick Rose, He was a huge Bulls fan, huge Derrick Rose fan. That’s just something I knew, something me and him had, cuz not everybody knew that he was into sports. You would never know that he was into sports, he would play 2K. I remember one time he beat me on 2K with the Bulls and it was the happiest I’ve ever seen him. So the LYBB bull is inspired by bro. Also, the New York City Gauchos, they got the Gauchos bull, so that’s a big staple for our city, the bull… And I’m on my bullshit, you dig? AND the Wall Street bull, you know we tryna stay around some bread (laughs).
Everyone in A$AP MOB is very fashion-forward. I know you and Addie teamed up for a Marino Infantry collab, but is there input from other members of the Mob when creating LYBB products?
Yes, like you said my whole crew is fashion-forward. They’re basically my inspiration board. So I can look at some shit that I’m bout to make and be like “Yo this might look good on bro” or “this may look good on sis,” whoever. I got a lot of people with style to choose from. So I always got in mind, if my brother ain’t gonna wear it, nobody in the world gonna wear it. So it’s dope to have them around, testing all types of samples, from slides to music to any kind of art. It’s dope just having they’re input. And everybody’s style is different, I have the Japanese anime style and one of my brothers might have a Parisian type of style, so it all goes hand in hand.
Even before joining A$AP Mob you were into fashion. How would you say your style has evolved since the early days of hopping on NikeTalk forums and all that?
Man, it was like I would see Kanye in a video with some sneakers, I used to be like “Yo the next day I’m gonna get it.” And I would, no matter if it was $400 or $500 kicks I used to do it. So now it’s less “oh man, that’s one of my idols.” It’s not the same no more because now I’m exposed to so much more, I’m exposed to individuality. So now it’s like I’m the trendsetter now, I gotta be the one wearing the kicks that everybody wants. Yo, I did the LYBB slides and the next thing you know every company is doing the slides.
You recently posted a video of you and Ferg together, is there anything you wanna say about all the noise that was made about his A$AP status?
I love A$AP man, everybody in A$AP from Illz to Ferg to Bari to Nast to TyY, Rocky, Addie, Relli, RIP YAMS, RIP J Scott, you know the vibe man. It ain’t no… it ain’t nothing for nothing, ain’t no speculation. Fuck it, A$AP.
There was a song playing in that video. Is that gonna be on Noon Yung? Can you disclose that?
I don’t know man. The people want it. I was gonna like, scale it out. You know, I don’t wanna give out too much information, but I see the people really really fucking with that. Shout out to Hit-Boy, shout out to Ferg. It’s like if I put that on my tape, I got a lot of firepower. It’s like, “Oh you went there this year.”