ASAP Rocky

aka Rakim Mayers

Born October 3, 1988, he was named after the hip hop star Rakim, one half of the Eric B. & Rakim duo. When he was 12 years old, his father went to jail in connection with selling drugs. A year later an older brother was killed near his apartment, which inspired him to take rapping seriously. Mayers had started rapping at age 8, grew up admiring Harlem-based rap group The Diplomats, and also lists among his influences Three 6 Mafia, Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang Clan, UGK, Run DMC and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. After living in a shelter with his mother & elsewhere around Manhattan, he moved to Elmwood Park, NJ.

The "Peso" single was leaked onto the internet in August 2011 and within weeks received airplay on the high-profile Hot 97 New York radio station. Music videos for "Peso" and "Purple Swag" generated further buzz and resulted in ASAP Rocky signing a reported $2 to $3,000,000 record deal with Sony, RCA Records & Polo Grounds Music. ASAP Rocky released the mixtape LiveLoveA$AP in October to generally positive reviews from critics. ASAP Rocky was one of the artists, along with rapper Kendrick Lamar featured on Drake's 'Club Paradise Tour' in 2012. In an interview with Fuse TV in Austin at the SXSW music festival, ASAP Rocky revealed the title of his debut studio album to be LongLiveA$AP, with hopes to release it on July 4, 2012. He also announced the ASAP Mob album released in May 2012. He performed at the A$APMOB Tour kick off at the Bill Graham Civic Center in SF on April 20, 2012 before heading for DC, the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.