Harlem emcee A$AP Rocky is in town this week, opening for Rihanna's two shows at the Air Canada Centre. Between this sets - and appearance on TSN's Off The Record with Michael Landsberg - the rapper also found time to "host" a Toronto Fashion Week party at the Mercer Nightclub last night, deep in the belly of the city's Club District.
Called "Fa$hion Killah" - a reference to the song of the same name, in which he name-checks over a dozen high-end fashion brands - the party was thrown by Thomas Neary and fashion website The Coveteur. With tickets going for $30 a pop, it attracted a curious mix of fans and Monday night partiers wanting to dance to a mix of Top 40 hip-hop (2 Chainz, Rick Ross, Trinidad James, etc.), all willing to shell out $8 for a shitty beer.
For Rocky and the promoters it was a win-win: the rapper got a truckload of cash. Toronto Fashion Week - officially: World MasterCard Fashion Week but c'mon - which has been criticized in the past for having an inferiority complex to other cities' fashion weeks like New York and Milan, got a big name star.
A$AP Rocky's no stranger to the fashion world. GQ Magazine recently invited him to provide commentary on the newest looks at European Fashion Week (choice quote from that interview in regards to a Moschino shirt: "He looks like a character from Batman with all the question marks around him"). Still, last night's party was probably pretty tame even - dare I say? - Toronto-like.
Dressed in a sweatshirt and white cap, Rocky arrived shortly after 1 a.m. with his A$AP Mob posse and did a few adlibs over his own tracks Fuckin' Problems and P.M.W., before shouting out Drake and his OVO crew. There were rumours that the Toronto rapper, who invited A$AP to open for him on his Club Paradise tour last year, was in the building - perhaps he was busy working a closing shift at Shopper's? - but it was impossible to tell from the crush of people onstage. The DJ did play Drizzy's new "Drake featuring Drake" single, 5 AM In Toronto, a song the crowd knew all the words to despite it only coming out a week-and-a-bit ago.
Despite all this though, it didn't stop people from mobbing the DJ booth in the hopes of getting past the bouncer. Rocky did jump into the crowd at one point accompanied by a bodyguard, leading fans in a Pied Piper-like lap around the club, camera phones flashes reflecting off his gold grill. While it's hard to know what people expect from these type of parties, for the hefty fee Rocky was no doubt paid for this appearance, it would have been nice if he had at least performed a song or two.