It was an average Sunday night at Sotheby’s: dancers milled about in zip-up yellow suits, crash dummies sat strewn throughout the seventh floor and A$AP Rocky was in a Plexiglas cube, asking what it would take to get some “porno stars” in the box alongside him.
Confused? As are we. Still. Two days later. Some things that have been illuminated, however: A$AP Rocky’s preferred candy bar (Almond Joy), “dirtiest kink” (having his nipples kissed), gender identity (a “sexy motherf—-er”) and, at long last, the title of his upcoming album (that would be “Testing,” expected later this week).
A$AP tapped friends and collaborators A$AP Ferg, Dev Hynes and A$AP Twelvyy, whom he described as a “necessity more than a treat,” to join him at the auction house for a live art performance, “Lab Rat,” which concluded with the announcement of the new album. A$AP spent nearly two hours in the Plexiglas box (dressed in a pair of Calvin Klein looks, first a tuxedo and then a fireman jumpsuit), as he put himself through a series of “tests” to demonstrate the process of completing the album.
When asked by the narrator why his upcoming album has been so slow to materialize, A$AP cited the connection between personal loss, including his father, sister and A$AP Yams, with releasing music; whenever he has put out new music, he has coincidentally lost someone close to him.
The 29-year-old also stressed his multifaceted interests. “I can’t neglect film while making music. I can’t neglect fashion while making music. I can’t neglect life while making music,” he said. “Everything around me is a distraction.”
He then took things in a lighter direction, if you will (how else did you think we ended up learning about the nipple kissing?). While being ordered to raise his right arm, or lower his head, or lift his feet, A$AP responded to a line of questioning from two narrators, one male and one female.
“Do you often feel as if you have to justify yourself to other people?”
“All the time.”
“Are your home and work environments tidy?”
“Do you find it difficult to relate to other people’s feelings?”
“Are you envious of other people?”
“Are your friends using you?”
“Do you enjoy going to social events that involve dress-up or role-play activities?”
“Have you ever cheated?”
“When was the last time you cried?”
“Probably the day before yesterday.”
“Have you recorded yourself having sex?”
“Half full or half empty?”
“Do you play to win?”
“Do you floss.”
“Hell yeah, baby.”
“Tupac or Biggie?”
“Tupac, but shout out to Biggie, man.”
“Are you afraid of being alone?”
“Have you ever worn women’s clothing?”
“All the time.”
“Do you think in 50 years anybody is going to remember your music?”
“How about in 100 years — in 100 years do you think anybody is going to remember your music?”
“Yeah. With the grace of God.”
“Who are you?”
“I don’t know!”
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