Rashaad Newsome Introduces the Art World to A$AP Mob

  • Stefano Tonchi, the editor of W magazine, was wandering around the crowded second floor office space of Grey Area in Soho in a double-breasted suit. He was at a party celebrating W’s publication of new works by artist Rashaad Newsome in its June issue. More than a few people were talking about going outside for some fresh air because they were getting a contact high from what was, admittedly, a fairly thick cloud of marijuana smoke courtesy of the friends of A$AP Mob—the Harlem rap crew that counts the very talented A$AP Rocky as one of its members. Rocky wasn’t there.

    Everything got along fine without him, though. The art world’s resident DJ Venus X Soto stood near the windows spinning records while people mildly bobbed their heads—save for the two angular gentlemen in the middle of the room who were grinding their bodies heavily against each other. A man stood nearby wearing a black baseball cap with the word “PUSSY” etched across it, which was kind of a nice contrast to Mr. Tonchi’s suit and pocket square. People were murmuring about Mos Def, who was mixed in with the throng of people and bouncing his head along with everyone else.

    Eventually, a little later than scheduled, the music cut out and rappers A$AP NY-Nast and A$AP Ferg grabbed microphones.

    “Yo we’re fucked up right now but we’re still about to party,” NY-Nast announced. The crowd—including Mr. Newsome and, one hopes anyway, Mr. Tonchi—began chanting: “ASAP! ASAP! ASAP!”

    “We’re doing this here for Rashaad,” Ferg said.

    “I’m a rock star bitch, bitch gonna rock and roll,” he added.

    (All images courtesy Elliot Black Photography)