A Bathing Ape founder Nigo has recruited fashion-savvy Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky for “Arya,” the lead single from I Know NIGO, the clothing designer’s first project in nearly two decades.
Recently debuted during Nigo’s Kenzo menswear show at Paris Fashion Week, “Arya” features a hazy, piano-driven beat and brash rhymes from Rocky. “I’m already on the iPhone 23,” he raps. “Was sixteen with an M16, that bitch weigh on me like feet/ Green ain’t have no seeds, lean ain’t need no sweets.” Stream it below.
Dating back to the height of Bape in the early 2000s, Nigo has had a close relationship with hip-hop, particularly with artists like Pharrell and Pusha T, both of whom appear on I Know NIGO. The latter rapper’s decades-long beef with Lil Wayne was even partially due to Weezy proclaiming he made Bape hot — not Pharrell.
I Know NIGO is slated for release on March 25th and will also feature Tyler the Creator, Kid Cudi, Lil Uzi Vert, and Nigo’s own group, Teriyaki Boyz. Nigo’s last music project was 2000’s Shadow of the Ape Sounds.
As for Rocky, his last solo release was “Sandman,” a bonus track from the reissue of his breakout mixtape Live. Love. A$AP. In 2021, he made guest appearances on songs by slowthai, BROCKHAMPTON, and Maxo Kream. It’s been nearly four years since his latest album, TESTING. Last May, Rocky revealed its follow-up, tentatively titled All Smiles, includes an unlikely collaborator: Morrissey.