Not only has A$AP Rocky received praise from the hip-hop world, but he’s also gaining respect in the world of fashion as well. Most recently, the Harlem rapper graces the cover of Interview magazine for a spread/interview with designer Alexander Wang.

In the photo spread, Rocky sports masks, face paint, and lots of leather, while in the interview, he talks about fashion’s impact on his career, being a role model, and the “gay thing” in hip-hop.

Below are excerpts. Read the interview, in its entirety, at

On the past year: “2012 was probably the most historic year of my life. I got to work with you for the first time. I’m getting my respect as a video director. The fashion industry respects me and knows who I am. But then the album leaked. I also lost my dad over Christmas.”

On the role fashion has played throughout his career: “Fashion was about standing out as an individual — and it helped me get the attention that most people try to get with publicity stunts or by doing other crazy things. But I just let the attention come to me naturally, and I think some of that has to do with my fashion.”

On homosexuality and hip-hop: “It’s 2013, and it’s a shame that, to this day, that topic still gets people all excited. It’s crazy. And it makes me upset that this topic even matters when it comes to hip-hop, because it makes it seem like everybody in hip-hop is small-minded or stupid—and that’s not the case. We’ve got people like Jay-Z. We’ve got people like Kanye. We’ve got people like me. We’re all prime examples of people who don’t think like that. I treat everybody equal, and so I want to be sure that my listeners and my followers do the same if they’re gonna represent me.”

On being a role model: “I just want to get it all out there and be the best role model that I can be, if people want to put me in that kind of predicament. I mean, I didn’t ask to be a role model, because I’m not perfect.”