ASAP Rocky is a rap superstar. But the popular rapper didn’t always have it easy. ASAP Rocky aka Rakim Mayers, was born and raised in the rough streets of Harlem. He faced several obstacles growing up being from one of the toughest cities in America. Rakim Mayers was actually named after Rakim the other famous NY rapper and Rakim was the early voice for hip hop. At the age of 12 ASAP’s father was thrown in jail for selling drugs in the street. ASAP’s father found that as a way to help his family financially but didn’t help legally. A year later ASAP’s brother was murdered near his apartment. All of this happening at such a young age can take a toll on your mind. After that he began to sell drugs himself, because his mom was struggling to say the least. Then they both began to move around from homeless shelters in the Harlem area.
Since ASAP didn’t have his father or brother anymore, he needed to be inspired by something and that’s what rap music did for him. Music helped him relax and release tension from a life full of struggling. Reportedly, he started to make beats at the age of 9 but didn’t really start taking music serious until he got to the age of 17. UGK and Bone Thugs of Harmony were some of his favorites to listen to and you can hear their style in his music today.
His debut mixtape “LiveLoveASAP” was a huge success and didn’t take long for it to become big nationwide. He dropped the mixtape in 2011 and was nominated for mixtape of the year. It was downloaded at least 10 million times and is considered a classic piece of work. ASAP Rocky showed the world his talents with a NY swagger but Houston voice. His love for UGK is obvious when you listen to his music.
ASAP Rocky has dropped two albums and they have also been classics. One being “At Long Last Asap” and the other being “LiveLongASAP”. He is putting NY back on the map as far as rap goes. There have been so many superstar rappers that were born and raised in New York, like 50 Cent, Jay-Z, Nas and Biggie Smalls just to name a few. I think it’s clear now that ASAP Rocky has already cemented his legacy as one of the superstars in the rap game.
By: Dominique Walker