On Thursday, A$AP Rocky joined Ebro and Laura Stylez on Hot 97 to discuss a wide variety of topics, including the upcoming A$AP Yams Day event, the first volume of Cozy Tapes, a project inspired by the late visionary, and Rocky's place on Forbes30 Under 30 List. The highlight of the interview, however, came when the Mob's leader was asked about Travis Scott biting his style.
The conversation surrounding the topic resurfaced this week, when Rocky's self-described protege, Ian Connor, who has served as his creative director, doubled down on comments that he made in an interview with Complex last April with a series of tweets.
Instead of further stoking the flames by piggybacking off Connor's publicized position, Rocky offered a level-headed response.
"If you're going to do something and influence people, you can't be arrogant about it when somebody gets inspired," Rocky explained. "If you're going to inspire people you can't fault them for that."
These are wise words from an artist who essentially formulated and modeled his entire initial approach to music not just off one artist but the entire soundscape of the city of Houston. Does that mean Rocky bit DJ Screw and UGK? And what about SpaceGhostPurrp, who has publicly criticized Rocky for ripping off his image?
It was smart of Rocky to back off any talk of "beef" and leave answering questions of Scott's authenticity to the people, chalking it up to how influential he has become, but the reality is that it's virtually impossible in the age of the internet and the meme not to interpret, borrow and mimic those who are creating in the same space. If Twitter was around back in the late '80s, would Run D.M.C. have accused LL Cool J of biting because he also rocked a Kangol hat?
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Especially in hip-hop.