New York City rap is back, on a magazine cover. A$AP Rocky and French Montana grace the cover of the forthcoming March/April 2013 issue of XXL magazine.
A$AP and French represent Harlem and The Bronx, respectively, and get their own covers and share a joint cover (that makes three if you're following along). Says XXL:
Rocky's debut album, LONG.LIVE.A$AP, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in late January. On the day of the release, he sat down with XXL's editor-in-chief, Vanessa Satten, for a lengthy discussion, which touched on a variety of topics, including the death of his father, who passed away on Christmas Eve 2012. Rocky recounts how hurt he was to lose his father so suddenly, right on the eve of his album release and his subsequent rise. Rocky also talks about his parents' love for hip-hop and their biggest influences, which helped him grow into the artist that he is today.
Before he was an artist, though, he was Rakim Mayers, a fashion-conscious, drug dealing kid from Harlem who rose to fame as part of the A$AP Mob and is now one of New York's biggest hopes for a hip-hop comeback.
In the other cover story, French Montana, whose debut disc, Excuse My French, drops on April 16, XXL racked up a dozen pieces of interesting tidbits about himself, ranging from his hopes for the album and his relationship with 50 Cent to reflecting on the day he was shot in the head.
This is Montana's second time on the cover of XXL as he graced the cover around this time last year as part of the XXL Freshman 2012 class. He's not rocking a fur vest with a bear head/hoodie, though. Voting for the XXL Freshman 2013 class has already started. It's Rocky's first cover on the Hip-Hop mag as he famously turned down an opportunity to be a member of the 2012 Freshman last year. What a difference a year makes.
The March/April 2013 issue of XXL will be on newsstands February 19. Check out all three covers in the gallery.