ASAP Rocky

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Not to be confused with Aesop Rock.
A$AP Rocky
A$AP Rocky UIT 2013 (cropped).jpg
ASAP Rocky at the Under the Influence Tour in Toronto, Canada on 10 August 2013.
Background information
Birth name Rakim Mayers
Also known as Lord Flacko
Born (1988-10-03) October 3, 1988 (age 26)
Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.
Genres Hip hop
Occupation(s) Rapper, producer
Years active 2007–present
Labels A$AP Worldwide, Polo Grounds, RCA, Sony
Associated acts ASAP Mob, Danny Brown, Schoolboy Q

Rakim Mayers (born October 3, 1988), better known by his stage name, ASAP Rocky (stylized as A$AP Rocky), is an American rapper from Harlem, New York City. He is a member of the hip hop collective ASAP Mob, from which he adopted his moniker. Rocky released his debut mixtape Live. Love. ASAP, in 2011 to critical acclaim. The success of his mixtape led to a record deal with Polo Grounds Music, RCA Records, and Sony Music Entertainment. He subsequently recorded his 2013 debut album Long. Live. ASAP, which was also well received by critics and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.

Rocky has also directed music videos for himself, Danny Brown and other ASAP Mob members.[1] He is also a noted record producer, producing under the pseudonym Lord Flacko.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

ASAP Rocky was born in 1988 in Harlem, New York City.[3] His father was from Barbados.[4] He also has a younger sister.[5] Mayers was named after the hip hop legend Rakim, one half of the Eric B. & Rakim duo.[6] His cousin is fellow ASAP Mob member ASAP Nast.[7]

ASAP Rocky started rapping at age eight.[8] He learned how to rap from his older brother, who also wore the French braids hairdo that Mayers later adopted. When Mayers was 12 years old, his father went to jail in connection with selling drugs; he died in 2012.[9] When Mayers was 13, his brother was killed in Harlem.[10] The death inspired Rocky to take rapping more seriously.[11] Mayers grew up admiring Harlem-based rap group The Diplomats. He was also influenced by Mobb Deep,[12] Three 6 Mafia, UGK, Run DMC, Wu-Tang Clan, and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.[13]

ASAP Rocky sold drugs while moving around homeless shelters with his mother. By age 15, he had been selling crack cocaine in the Bronx.[10] After living for a period in a shelter with his mother and elsewhere around Manhattan, he moved to Elmwood Park, New Jersey.[5]


2007–11: Beginnings and mixtape[edit]

In 2007, ASAP Rocky joined the ASAP Mob crew, a Harlem-based collective of rappers, producers, music video directors, fashion designers, and bikers who shared similar interests in music, fashion, style, and art.[14] It had been formed by ASAP Yams, ASAP Bari and ASAP Illz.[15] ASAP was an acronym for "Always Strive and Prosper".[14] On July 8, 2011, an unofficial compilation titled Deep Purple was released,[16] which according to Rocky, was a compilation of his YouTube hits compiled by a fan in Paris.[17]

In August, Rocky's debut single "Peso", was leaked online and within weeks received airplay on the high-profile Hot 97 New York radio station.[18] After he released a music video for his song "Purple Swag", he received attention from several record labels. In October, he released the mixtape Live. Love. ASAP to critical acclaim and signed a two-year, $3 million record deal with RCA Records and Polo Grounds Music.[19] Upon his record deal, Rocky started a label, ASAP Worldwide, with ASAP Yams.[15] On December 5, he was nominated for BBC's Sound of 2012 poll.[20]

2012–present: Touring and Long. Live. ASAP[edit]

Rocky performing at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

Beginning in February 2012, Rocky joined Kendrick Lamar as the opening act for Drake's Club Paradise Tour.[21] In June, SpaceGhostPurrp, founder of Miami-based collective Raider Klan and Rocky's past collaborator, accused ASAP Twelvyy of jumping Raider Klan's Matt Stoops and subsequently diassociated himself from ASAP Mob and Rocky in a YouTube video.[22] He and Raider Klan also accused ASAP Mob of copying their style,[22] and Rocky of using lyrics from SpaceGhostPurrp's song "My Enemy" on "Goldie".[23] Rocky responded in a July interview for MTV, saying that SpaceGhostPurrp is "try[ing] to build hype" and told him to "stick to makin' beats".[22]

In July, Rocky performed at the Pitchfork Music Festival.[24] He was scheduled to make his network television debut on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on July 20,[24] but was arrested the night before after an alleged involvement in a brawl with 21 year old artist iRome. The scuffle took place in downtown Manhattan and the performance was canceled.[25][26] After it was rescheduled for August 21, Rocky performed "Goldie" on the show.[27] On September 6, he also performed a guest rap on Rihanna's "Cockiness (Love It)" at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards.[28]

ASAP Rocky in October 2013.

Rocky recorded his debut studio album Long. Live. ASAP with producers Clams Casino, Hit-Boy, Friendzone, ASAP Ty Beats, Soufein3000, and Joey Fat Beats.[29] "Goldie" was released as the album's first single on April 27.[30] On August 27, his crew ASAP Mob released the mixtape Lords Never Worry as a free download.[31] During September through November, Rocky promoted the album with a 40-date national concert tour, the Long Live ASAP Tour, with opening acts Schoolboy Q, Danny Brown, and ASAP Mob.[32] Long. Live. ASAP was released on January 15, 2013, to mostly positive reviews from critics.[33] The album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 139,000 copies in the United States.[34] As of March 13, 2013, it has sold 284,000 copies.[35]

On April 12, 2013 during an interview at Wild 94.9 radio station, Rocky revealed he was working on an instrumental album which he plans to release without notice. He also discussed his favorite music videos and talked about his desire to collaborate with veteran rapper André 3000.[36] On June 21, Rocky told MTV News he had completed his debut instrumental album, which mostly consists of ambient oriented instrumental tracks, titled Beauty & The Beast: Slowed Down Sessions (Chapter 1) and was originally set to be released during the summer for free download.[37] However, that album was delayed with no other release date announced. Rocky previewed two snippets that might make the Beauty & The Beast: Slowed Down Sessions (Chapter 1) compilation titled "Riot Rave" and "Unicorn".[38]

Business ventures[edit]

In October 2011, Rocky signed a record deal with Sony Music Entertainment worth $3 million, $1.7 million of which was earmarked for his solo work and $1.3 million earmarked to fund his company ASAP Worldwide, along with A&R and executive producer Steven Rodriguez (known as ASAP Yams).[39] Rocky said that he sought a "bigger platform" for him and his collective with the deal.[40] His first studio album planned to be under the deal, but it allowed him to continue releasing mixtapes through RED Distribution.[40] Fellow rapper and ASAP Mob member ASAP Ferg, also signed a joint venture deal with Rocky's same labels, RCA and Polo Grounds, who released his single "Work", for retail on iTunes, and later announced an official remix featuring Rocky, French Montana, Schoolboy Q and Trinidad James.[41]

In 2013, he released his ASAP clothing brand, and went to collaborate with high-profile fashion designer and close friend Raf Simons.[42][43]

Personal life[edit]


In late 2011, Rocky began dating Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, whom he met through Chase N. Cashe. Azalea confirmed that they were dating in an interview with Vibe Magazine released on January 15, 2012. It was around this time that she revealed she had tattooed the title of Rocky's breakout mixtape "Live.Love.A$AP", on her fingers. She also claimed she was not the only one with tattoos dedicated to the relationship.[44] Later, in July 2012, Rocky said they were no longer dating.[45] They seemed to be on and off before officially breaking it off. In March 2013, Azalea revealed she had crossed out the "A$AP" part of the tattoo, stating she had crossed it out months ago.[44][46]

Around April 2013 he began dating American model Chanel Iman.[47][48] On October 27, 2014, Mayers and Iman ended their engagement. Rocky said that they've ended their relationship because of a "delayed touring schedule".[49]

Legal issues[edit]

ASAP Rocky was arrested in July 2012 for beating a man in a New York clothing store, and two photographers who had been filming the altercation outside. He was subsequently sued for assault by the first man. The confrontation began after Shenick Alcine witnessed ASAP Rocky doing illegal drugs inside the clothing store, sparking the assault. Rocky then attacked two amateur photographers who were recording the incident. ASAP Rocky was eventually charged with assault and robbery for striking the photographers and attempting to take their cameras.[50] In December 2012, Rocky struck a plea deal in the criminal case, pleading guilty to attempted grand larceny, with the assault and robbery charges being dropped.[51]


Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ Video: Danny Brown – “Blunt After Blunt” (directed by ASAP Rocky) | Consequence of Sound
  2. ^ A$AP Rocky’s Long.Live.A$AP to feature production from Clams Casino, Skrillex and more – FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music
  3. ^ "ASAP Rocky". BBC. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  4. ^ Cooper, Wilbert L. "A$AP Rocky and Jeremy Scott Schooled Me on How to Be a Pretty Motherfucker". Vice. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Caramanica, Jon (October 12, 2011). "Thinking Globally, Rapping Locally". The New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2011. 
  6. ^ Battan, Carrie (October 28, 2011). "A$AP Rocky Talks $3 Million Record Deal, Mainstream Acceptance". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved November 15, 2011. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Markman, Rob (October 20, 2011). "Drake Has 'Good Taste,' A$AP Rocky Says After Co-Sign". MTV. Retrieved November 15, 2011. 
  9. ^ Maz (27 December 2012). "A$AP ROCKY MOURNS THE LOSS OF HIS FATHER". MTV. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Sundermann, Eric (23 January 2013). "A$AP Rocky Lights Up The City". Village Voice. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  11. ^ Zeichner, Naomi (October 14, 2011). "Gen F: ASAP Rocky". The Fader. Retrieved November 15, 2011. 
  12. ^ Lymangrover, Jason. "A$AP Rocky". Allmusic. Archived from the original on March 9, 2013. Retrieved March 9, 2013. 
  13. ^ Murphy, K. (November 2, 2011). "A$AP Rocky Talks Debut Album, Musical Influences, and Accepting Gay Fans". Vibe. Retrieved November 15, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b Huynh, Davis. "A$AP Rocky – Always $trive and Prosper". Hypetrak. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  15. ^ a b "Meet The A$AP Mob: Talking To Ant, Ferg, J. Scott, Nast, Twelvy, And Yams - New York - Music - Sound of the City". 2012-08-28. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  16. ^ "Music". ASAP Mob. Retrieved June 2, 2012. 
  17. ^ Roos, Brandon E. (November 29, 2011). "ASAP Rocky Says Deluxe Version Of "LiveLoveA$AP" Is Coming, Reveals Identity Of "Purple Swag" Video Girl". HipHopDX. Retrieved June 4, 2012. 
  18. ^ Caramanica, Jon (October 13, 2011). "Thinking Globally, Rapping Locally". The New York Times (New York: The New York Times Company). p. C1. Retrieved June 2, 2012. 
  19. ^ Ramirez, Erika (November 4, 2011). "A$AP Rocky Talks Upcoming Projects, $3 Million Deal & ASAP WorldWide Signings". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media). Retrieved February 15, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Sound of - 2012 - ASAP Rocky". BBC. Retrieved July 10, 2012. 
  21. ^ Vena, Jocelyn (December 13, 2011). "Drake Announces 2012 Club Paradise Tour Dates". MTV News. MTV. Retrieved May 25, 2012. 
  22. ^ a b c Markman, Rob (July 3, 2012). "A$AP Rocky Suggests SpaceGhostPurrp 'Stick To Makin' Beats'". MTV. Retrieved July 10, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Who Is SpaceGhostPurrp?". Complex (Complex Media). July 6, 2012. Retrieved July 10, 2012. 
  24. ^ a b Lipshutz, Jason (July 14, 2012). "A$AP Rocky Talks 'LongLiveA$AP' Album, Discovers The Dirty Projectors". Billboard (Chicago: Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved July 16, 2012. 
  25. ^ "A$AP Rocky arrested after brawl in New York". NME (IPC Media). July 20, 2012. Retrieved July 22, 2012. 
  26. ^ Lynch, Sean (July 20, 2012). "A$AP Rocky's Jimmy Fallon Performance Cancelled". The Source (The NorthStar Group). Retrieved July 22, 2012. 
  27. ^ Meara, Paul (August 22, 2012). "Video: A$AP Rocky Performs "Goldie" Live On Jimmy Fallon". Complex (Complex Media). Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  28. ^ Alexis, Nadeska (September 6, 2012). "Rihanna And ASAP Rocky Perform 'Cockiness (Remix)' At MTV VMAs". MTV News. MTV. Retrieved September 16, 2012. 
  29. ^ Fitzmaurice, Larry (August 27, 2012). "A$AP Rocky Delays Album Release Date". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved August 28, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Goldie - Single". iTunes. Apple Inc. Retrieved May 25, 2012. 
  31. ^ Pelly, Jenn (August 27, 2012). "Download the New Mixtape Lords Never Worry From A$AP Rocky's A$AP Mob". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved August 28, 2012. 
  32. ^ McDermott, Tyler K. (July 25, 2012). "A$AP Rocky Announces 'LONGLIVEA$AP Tour'". Billboard (New York: Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  33. ^ "Long.Live.A$AP Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved March 9, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 1/20/2013". HipHopDX. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 3/10/2013". HipHopDX. Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  36. ^ "A$AP Rocky To Release Instrumental Album | HipHop-N-More". 2013-04-12. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  37. ^ "A$AP Rocky Announces Instrumental Album ‘Beauty & The Beast: Slowed Down Sessions Chapter 1′ | HipHop-N-More". 2013-06-21. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  38. ^ "Listen to Two Songs From A$AP Rocky’s Upcoming Instrumental Album". 2014-03-03. Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  39. ^ Adaso, Henry. "A$AP Rocky Biography". The New York Times Company. Retrieved June 3, 2012. 
  40. ^ a b Coleman II, C. Vernon (October 14, 2011). "A$AP Rocky Signs Record Deal With Polo Grounds Music/RCA Records". Hip-Hop Wired. Retrieved June 3, 2012. 
  41. ^ "A$AP Ferg Videos - Says "Work" Remix To Feature A$AP Rocky & Trinidad James". Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  42. ^ "A$AP Rocky Store". Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  43. ^ Fischer, David (2013-01-30). "ASAP Rocky Collaborates With Raf Simons - Here Is A First Look • Highsnobiety". Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  44. ^ a b V Exclusive! Iggy Azalea Confirms Romantic Relationship with A$AP Rocky | Vibe
  45. ^ A$AP Talks Iggy Azalea, Says They’re Not Dating - XXL
  46. ^ Iggy Azalea Crosses Out ASAP Rocky Tattoo | Vibe
  47. ^ Brown, Nicole (May 1, 2013). "Chanel Iman Confirms Relationship with A$AP Rocky". Vibe Vixen. Spin Entertainment. Retrieved August 11, 2013. 
  48. ^ A$AP Rocky And MTV Security Get Into An Argument - XXL
  49. ^ White, Chelsea (October 27, 2014). "Chanel Iman and ASAP Rocky Call Off Engagement". DailyMail. Retrieved October 30, 2014. 
  50. ^ Roman Wolfe (@AllHipHopcom) (2012-12-31). "A$AP Rocky Sued For Assaulting Man While High On Drugs". Retrieved 2013-02-06. 
  51. ^ Cooper, Roman (31 December 2012). "A$AP Rocky Sued For Assault". HipHop DX. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 

External links[edit]