A$AP Rocky, father of 2 sons, leans into his role as a family man

"I don’t think there are many people in my culture who advocate for fatherhood and parenthood."

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY
In a new photoshoot and ad campaign from Italian luxury brand Bottega Veneta, rapper A$AP Rocky, father of two, opens up about the importance of fatherhood, family, and monogamy. In the series of photos, Rocky is seen with his and singer Rihanna's two sons, RZA and Riot Rose. 

"This is about me as a one-woman man, as a family man. It is about what completes my life now: being present as a partner and parent," he said.

"I don’t think there are many people in my culture who advocate for fatherhood and parenthood," Rocky said in a release. "This player persona is very pushed. When you think about a rapper, you think about adolescence, about the single bachelor lifestyle."

Both mom and dad have been vocal about how much they love their children and love being parents. While culture marches on with the message that parenting, monogamy, and family are passe, the duo have bucked the trend by staying together, raising their children together, and doing both things with love.

Of the ad campaign and the message it sends, Rocky said "This is the evolution of Mr. Mayers. "This is me embodying and embracing fatherhood, parenthood, companionship, and family, while still working on all aspects of my career."

The campaign was shot by Carrie Mae Weems, a Portland-born, New York-based photographer who has used herself as a subject in her art work. The black and white photos in the A$AP Rocky series are a hallmark of her work, which has had global reach. While her work is often a call to action, or a protest against racism, the series for Bottega Veneta is universal in its reach into a contemporary American culture that has lost its moorings. 

A$AP Rocky and his sons, Carrie Mae Weems for Bottega Veneta

For Weems, the focus on the black family, specifically, is key for this moment. "Rocky’s concerns as an African American man with children profoundly moved me," she said. "Historically there has been a deep lack of honest representation of the Black family. It has been distorted for centuries. This was a unique opportunity to say something not just positive, but truthful."

Weems put herself into one of the shots for the ad campaign, a reference to her self-portrait work. It shows Weems looking into a mirror with Rocky, sitting at a dining table, that epitome of American home life. In a caption for the photo on Instagram, Rocky writes "It was a pleasure to work alongside my children & family," listing off the collaborators on the shoot, "to bring u this heartfelt Fathers Day piece. This special moment capture the vulnerability, love and interaction between my sons and I, I'm proud 2 be the man they call Dadda."

Rihanna and Rocky have been criticized at length for thier public persona as a family. In a British Vogue shoot from March 2023, Rihanna can be seen leading the way, her arm extended behind her, holding Rocky's hand. But it's Rocky who carries their son, kissing him as they head into the future. the cover was said to be emasculating because it was Rocky taking up the rear and carrying the child.

Rihanna has been vocal against cancel culture, coming out in support of actor Johnny Depp's inclusion in a fashion show for her Savage x Fenty show when others painted him as an alleged abuser over his tumultuous relationship with Amber Heard.

The Bottega Veneta shoot, and Rocky's statements, show that far from being emasculated by his wife's success, or by his carrying their child, he is proud to support his wife, to father their children, and to be a true partner in their life together. Rocky leads by example. 
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