Rocky’s talking to me from a balcony in Miami, where Tyler, whose ears must have been ringing at his mention, calls him, briefly interrupting our conversation. (“That fucking asshole,” Rocky laughs.) He’s fresh from Art Basel, where he’s indulging his “new love” of interior decorating—he just debuted the first piece from his new furniture design studio Hommemade. But he’s eager to get out of the city he dubs “the new Vegas” and back home to New York, to more creative “bake sessions” with his AWGE crew to conceptualize more visual projects like “Shittin Me,” and of course, make more music.
“People [have to realize], man it’s not like I’m out here just doing furniture and clothes—no, I’m working on music every day and I’m just taking my time,” Rocky says passionately. “It takes me longer because I care. I’m [trying to] make a body of work that represents that year but also lasts and it ages like fine wine. I don’t want to do songs [just] to stay relevant or prevalent in the rap game.” Rocky, ever the restless creative, promises more from Hommemade will drop “parallel to the new album” and also teases a return to acting with a new film on the horizon to follow roles in films like Dope and Monster. “I like being in front of the camera, behind the camera, all of that, what can I say?” he laughs.
Rocky may work slowly but this past weekend was a bountiful one. In addition to “Shittin Me” and its visual, the rapper also closes out Metro Boomin’s excellent new album with a soulful hard-hitting outro, “Feel the Fiyaaaah.” The track is bittersweet, however—it marks Rocky’s first collaboration withTakeoff; arriving just a month after the rapper’s tragic murder, it’s the late rapper’s first posthumous song. Rocky is visibly disturbed talking about Takeoff now. His perennial grill-baring smile dims as he gazes off into the distance. He apologizes for his silence as he tries to articulate his feelings.
“‘Unfortunate’ is not the right word,” he says finally. “It’s heavy, bro. I’m not about to gas it like I knew Take very well. I’d met him throughout the years but I never got to work with him on a one-on-one basis until a few months ago. And I wish that…” He trails off again, and waits a beat before he can continue. “We lost somebody ill and I’m still not over what happened to him. And I’m really sorry for that loss. I can’t thank Metro enough for linking us.”
Rocky explains that Metro brought them together at a studio to work before leaving them alone to vibe out while he attended to other songs on his album. “Me and Take were there, on different occasions, for [up to] 10 hours. It was crazy. He takes his time with his flows. And when it’s done, and he put that patent on it, it’s over.” Metro’s “Feel the Fiyaaaah” won’t be the only song to come out of those ten-hour sessions. “We got other shit, and it’s crazy. You gon hear it,” Rocky promises.