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ASAP Rocky on Nostalgic Fragrances, Evolving Style, and Being a Family Man

Now headlining as one of the new faces of Gucci Guilty, American rapper ASAP Rocky shares his insights on nostalgic fragrances, evolving style, and being a family man. 

ASAP Rocky for Gucci Guilty

Life is pretty good right now for ASAP Rocky, if not rather hectic, the Grammy-winning musician concedes. While fans clamor for the long-awaited release of his next album – lyrics from its second single Riot (Rowdy Pipe’n) teased wedding rumors this summer – Rocky is enjoying the first few months in a newborn baby bubble with his two sons, and maybe-wife, Rihanna. An alternate reality of Rocky’s domestic bliss is captured in Gucci’s new Glen Luchford-lensed shots. Also starring actors Julia Garner and Elliot Page, the campaign features the rapper reclining at home in a rose-tinged take on the 50s. It’s a more suburban side to Harlem-raised Rocky, who rose to mainstream prominence in 2012 supporting Drake on his Club Paradise tour, alongside Kendrick Lamar. “It was pretty dreamy,” he says, of the wistful Gucci video, set to The Harptones’ 1955 release Life is But a Dream. Featuring a duo of fragrances, Gucci Guilty Eau de Parfum Pour Homme and Pour Femme, Rocky and his co-stars spritz each other from the metallic flacons. Pour Homme delivers a dose of sensuality, with orange blossom absolute, Italian lemon, and pink pepper over a heart of neroli, French lavender, and more orange blossom. The lingering patchouli, leather, and cedar notes are grounded with a masculine incense base.

 

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Choosing his scent according to the emotions it evokes, Rocky says when it comes to his fragrance, it’s less about individual notes and more about how he can relate to the finished composition. Gucci Guilty summons up his own nostalgia – not a retro ty pe of melancholy – but with comforting scenes from his own childhood. “I think it’s funny that smell always just has some type of like recollection or connection to it. Out of all our senses, smell is kind of like a time capsule. You smell certain things, and it brings you back somewhere familiar, to a memory or a past time,” he says. “For some reason Gucci Guilty Parfum smells familiar to me, like something I smelled as a child, and gives me this warm feeling of safety, happiness, and joy. I’m going to keep chasing memories like that, so it’s safe to say I wear a lot of it.”

While Rocky says he likes the Pour Homme aesthetic, it’s the amber floral fragrance for women that’s won him over. “You would assume that the darker bottle would be the one that attracts all guys, but I like the other one better,” he laughs. “You know, people would expect me to say nice things about the fragrance obviously just because I’m in the campaign, I’m featured in it. But it’s honestly just for me, and naturally I think it’s cool, I think it’s really dope.”

Gucci Guilty

Unexpected pairings shouldn’t come as a surprise, with Rocky known for his individualism on the red carpet, his signature looks mixing street style with luxury brands. Wearing white leather lace-up pants with matching shooter boots, and a textured gray suit jacket styled without a shirt for the Gucci campaign, Rocky’s take on the Italian fashion house is as fresh as it is fashion-forward. “What I love about Gucci is its willingness to try new things or alter things or be collaborative with me making revisions on pieces. It’s never too much of a crazy idea. Working with a big fashion house like Gucci and knowing it’s always open-minded to my crazy ideas, it’s just amazing,” he enthuses. “It’s all about being open and having that collaborative intent on everything. It feels like if you stay with one trend, you can easily get left behind dwelling on that one thing. It’s always good to be open to evolving your style.”

While his Gucci Guilty fragrance reminds Rocky of past happiness, it’s creating new joyful memories with his young family that has now caught his focus. With his partner Rihanna, the dad of two welcomed his first son RZA in May 2022. After revealing her pregnancy at the Super Bowl LVII halftime show performance, the Barbadian singer gave birth to their second son Riot Rose in August this year. While ti ght-lipped about his relationship with the music icon, Rocky is clearly thrilled with his growing family, with the ‘R’ connection proving to be no coincidence. “There’s something powerful about these ‘Rs’, they’ll be taking over,” he says.

 

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Lighting up when the subject of parenthood is broached, he reflects on what he’s learnt in the last year. “I always imagined I could be a great father, and I guess fatherhood just gives you the chance to actually do it and to act upon that,” he says. “It’s one thing to think you could do it and it’s another thing to be a parent. It’s not until you actually do it that you’re like, ‘Oh, so this is how this goes,’ you know, it’s experiencing it as opposed to just being curious and knowing that you could be amazing as a mom or dad. I’m glad to be the father of my children.” With two megastars as their parents, it seems fate that Rocky’s sons are destined to have it all. “I really want to give them the best experiences,” smiles Rocky. “[But] I’m going to teach them a lot, to be open-minded and about diversity and whatnot. You know, those good words and synonyms that come after that, those clichés. But it’s the truth, man.” Of course, being ASAP Rocky, his parenting style must include at least a hefty percentage of swagger. “I knew I was a pretty decent, cool person if I may say so myself,” he adds. “But now I think I’m just a lit dad.”

Originally published in the Fall/Winter 2023 issue of Vogue Man Arabia

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