ASAP Rocky Digital Biography

“I would not consider myself to be a quote unquote real New York rapper,” ASAP Rocky said in an interview [with the New York Times]. “I don’t even like New York rappers.”

A$AP Rocky (born Rakim Mayers, October 3, 1988)

A$AP Rocky: Childhood

A$AP Rocky was born in Harlem, New York City and brought up around Manhattan, including living in a shelter with his mother, before moving to Elmwood Park, New Jersey. His father was jailed for drug offences when he was 12.

His brother was killed near his apartment when he was 13. This experience and his growing up made him want to go into rapping as a career.

He started rapping at 8-years-old, inspired by the likes of The Diplomats, Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang Clan, Run DMC and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.

A$AP Rocky: Musical career

A$AP Rocky was part of a hip hop collective in 2007 called the A$AP Mob. The acronym has a variety of meanings including 'Always Strive and Prosper', 'Assassinating Snitches and Police' and 'Acronym Symbolizing Any Purpose'.

In 2011, a compilation of his YouTube hits entitled 'Deep Purple' was released by a Parisian fan. Soon afterwards, his single 'Peso' was leaked and ended up hitting the Hot 97 New York radio station as well as charting on the US R&B chart.

He was approached by various record labels after unveiling a music video for his track 'Purple Swag' and soon released debut mixtape 'Live. Love. ASAP' which got him signed with RCA Records and Polo Grounds Music.

 

“Live Love ASAP,” his forthcoming debut mixtape, is placeless and universal, an album that sounds as if it has ingested the last 20 years of hip-hop’s travels and would be comfortable anywhere. There’s chewy, slowed-down homages to Houston, flow patterns reminiscent of Cleveland’s Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, nods to New Orleans and Atlanta and the Bay Area and everywhere else hip-hop is made. Almost everywhere but New York, it seems. 

The old New York, that is. On “Live Love ASAP,” New York has a new role. Once the universal donor, it’s now the universal recipient.

Other cities have been playing that role for years. As New York classicists were holding their ground, the rest of hip-hop looked on, amused, and kept working, taking in outside influences and building their own sounds. Atlanta and Houston and Miami and Atlanta again all took their turn as hip-hop’s center, proving the point that arguing about hip-hop’s center was becoming increasingly anachronistic.

“Live Love ASAP” would be comprehensible in all of those places. It’s a deeply assured and heavily narcotic album on which ASAP Rocky shows off a well-honed style: straight-talking boasts, heavy intake of drugs and women, a deceptive intricacy that reveals itself in bursts of short phrases, rhymed in their entirety. It’s a knowing and confident album, and its pair of slick, fully formed singles, “Purple Swag” and “Peso,” are among the year’s best hip-hop songs.

In December of that year, he became a nominee for the BBC's annual 'Sound of 2012' poll.

In February 2012, he joined Kendrick Lamar  as opening act for  Drake's Club Paradise tour, cementing his status as a prominent hip-hop rising star. He later also performed at Pitchfork Music Festival. His anticipated Polo Grounds Music/RCA Records debut album, "LongLiveA$AP", was released in January, 2013. 

In that year, his A$AP Mob associate A$AP Twelvyy was accused by Rocky's former collaborator SpaceGhostPurrp (of Raider Klan) of attacking Raider Klan's Matt Stoops and Space subsequently made a YouTube video to show he was severing ties with the A$AP collective. He later alleged that they were copying Raider's style and stole some of their lyrics.

Before an expected appearance on 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon', he was arrested for fighting a 21-year-old in Manhattan and subsequently didn't appear on the show until a month later.

In September, he made a guest appearance at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards during Rihanna's song 'Cockiness (Love It)'.  Even without an official debut, the rapper rounded out the year with a nomination for BBC Radio's Sound of 2012 poll, playing Lana Del Rey's husband in the singer's "National Anthem" video, and landing a spot in a television commercial for the popular videogame FIFA Soccer 13. The debut, LongliveASAP, finally landed in 2013 and featured the single "Goldie". Santigold, 2 Chainz, Kendrick Lamar, and Yelawolf were among his guests while production came from the likes of Clams Casino, Danger Mouse, and Jim Jonsin.

He released his debut album 'Long. Live. ASAP' in 2013 with his UK charting track 'Goldie' as the lead single. The album reached number 1 on the US Album chart as well as the R&B and Rap charts and even the UK R&B chart.

His other works include the mixtape 'Lord$ Never Worry' which he worked on with A$AP Mob and released as a free download.

In 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. 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 set to release during the summer for free download.

A$AP Rocky: Personal Life

A$AP Rocky was arrested in 2012 after attacking a man in a clothing store in New York as well as two members of the paparazzi who filmed the incident. He was later charged with assault and robbery because he tried to snatch the photographers' cameras. His charges were later changed to the lesser crime of attempted grand larceny and the assault charge was dropped.

 

(sources: contactmusic.com,  nytimes.com, allmusic.com, wikipedia.org)