A$AP Rocky

October 3, 1988
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  • A$AP Rocky was born Rakim Mayers in Harlem, New York. He was named after MC Rakim Allah, one half of the Eric B. & Rakim duo. They actually met in Rakim Mayers' very early days when his mom asked the hip-hop legend to sign her baby son's diaper.
  • Rakim Mayers started rapping at the age of 8, inspired by local rap group The Diplomats.
  • When Rakim Mayers was 12 years old, his father went to jail in connection with selling drugs. A year later, his older brother, Ricky, was shot dead in Harlem by a rival drug dealer.

    Rocky spent some time moving between homeless shelters with his mom and two sisters while selling weed himself. By the age 15, he was selling crack cocaine in the Bronx. "I wasn't no big-time hustler," Rocky told Billboard magazine. "I was one of those guys that would do well in the summer and save enough to support my studio time, buy clothes, pay the bills. That lifestyle's wack. I ain't got time for that petty s--t, man. I'm bigger than that."
  • Asked by The Guardian what school life was like for him, Rocky replied: "I was really smart. When I utilized my brain I would get good grades, but for the most part I was more concerned with rap songs, bitches, money, weed and selling crack. Those are stupid things that distract us in the urban community because those are the things that we praise. We don't know any better."

    "Knowing what I know now, I don't think I would have changed anything, because it made me the man I am today, so I guess some people have to go through those trials and tribulations."
  • In 2007, Mayers joined the ASAP Mob, a Harlem-based hip-hop collective who shared similar interests in music, fashion, style, and art (ASAP is an acronym for "Always Strive and Prosper"). Mayers subsequently adopted the performing name of A$AP Rocky. He told Hypetrack: "At the time, A$AP was a crew out there that didn't get a lot of recognition but they caught my eye because real will always recognize the real, you know?"

    "I felt we shared a lot in common, from our views and realizing we are outcasts," Rocky added, "and just say 'f--k it we're going to be ourselves.'"
  • Rocky's debut single "Peso," released in August 2011, received airplay on the high-profile Hot 97 New York radio station. In October, he released the critically acclaimed mixtape Live. Love. ASAP and signed a two-year, $3 million record deal with RCA Records and Polo Grounds Music. Upon his record deal, Rocky started his own label, ASAP Worldwide, with ASAP Mob co-founder ASAP Yams.
  • His cousin is fellow ASAP Mob member ASAP Nast.
  • Rocky's love life has also earned him headlines, having dated the likes of Australian rapper Iggy Azalea and model Chanel Iman.
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