by naya clark photographs by dylan schattman
A$AP TyY, considered one of Harlem’s A$AP Mob members and a Bike Life pioneer, is thought for his model and his affinity for gliding across the metropolis on bikes, four-wheelers and filth bikes. As part of the collective, he has launched new music, merch and collaborations this yr. The person behind current releases “100 Rounds,” “Who Ain’t With Me” and “Ting” discusses how his collaborative clothes design, Bike Life and rap existence intersect.
“Bike Life performs a significant half in balancing my way of life as a result of I’m truly [one of] the pioneers of Bike Life tradition in New York Metropolis,” TyY says. “A variety of my music is popping out, explaining my tradition and craft, aligning myself with Bike Life, my regular way of life and issues that I’m doing [in] regular day-to-day life. That’s how music performs a significant position. It’s simply me having a journey.”
The dedication to this way of life might be seen in his “100 Rounds” video, as we watch TyY stunting on a pink and purple four-wheeler, doing tips with intense focus and playfulness. He rides with a grandiose appeal that’s simply as daring as he rumbles the refrain all through the observe.
Equally, the “Who Ain’t With Me” video, shot in Harlem, options TyY zooming by way of on his bike. In each movies, TyY is the essence of Bike Life freedom and spontaneity. Everybody in his posse has elaborately designed rides that they rev, pop wheelies and get up on whereas driving at high pace. “It’s thrill-seeking,” he says, “I don’t know what to anticipate daily. It retains me .”
The genius of the movies is that they’ve the flexibility to make listeners really feel like daredevils, which is the entire level. TyY’s forceful vocals soar over weighted drill beats which can be pushed and infectious, placing the listener into his sneakers. “It’s actually only a lifestyle,” he says. “[The] stuff we dwell and breathe daily, I’m simply speaking by way of it and navigating folks by way of it.”
The Harlem rapper is a pressure to be reckoned with. All of it comes collectively by way of a mix of his cut-to-the-chase approach of talking, the best way he makes every little thing really feel apparent and his assortment of greater than 40 tattoos.
As TyY has traveled the world, visiting locations corresponding to China, Italy and Mexico, he’s made certain to mark every journey with some new ink. His favorites embody a chook on his shin that he bought whereas in China, one depicting a burning constructing of Chinese language structure and a script piece studying “A$AP Way of life.”
“I’ve a tombstone representing my grandmother, when she handed away, that’s considered one of my favourite items,” he says. “I’ve a chunk on my chest that appears like I’m strolling by way of the gates of Heaven. That’s a chunk I like lots additionally…”
TyY admits a few of his favourite tattoo artists are Mexican and Chinese language. He’s an enormous fan of Chinese language structure and the way it’s integrated by way of the nation’s tradition and tattoo types. He additionally admires the Mexican work ethic and the way it reveals in his experiences with Mexican tattoo artists’ abilities.
However his worldwide experiences aren’t solely restricted to his tattoos, as TyY can also be recognized for his clothes, jewellery and shoe collaborations. For some bling, he’s labored with Australian jewellery model Ksubi and to maintain his kicks contemporary he’s personalized Nikes alongside London model CroxxHatch.
Away from the microphone, A$AP TyY is a person of few phrases, however a lot extra comes by way of in his music, his sense of fashion and, in fact, his tattoos.