Rakim Mayers (born October 3, 1988), better known by his stage name, ASAP Rocky (stylized as A$ AP Rocky), is an American rapper. 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, and he recorded his 2013 debut album Long. Live. ASAP, which was also well received by critics and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.
2007– 11: Beginnings and mixtape
In 2007, 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. It had been formed by ASAP Yams, ASAP Bari and ASAP Illz. ASAP was an acronym for “Always Strive and Prosper”. On July 8, 2011, an unofficial compilation titled Deep Purple was released, which according to Rocky, was a compilation of his YouTube hits compiled by a fan in Paris.
In August, Rocky’s first single “Peso” was leaked onto the Internet and within weeks received airplay on the high-profile Hot 97 New York radio station. 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. Upon his record deal, Rocky started a label, ASAP Worldwide, with ASAP Yams. On December 5, he was nominated for BBC’s Sound of 2012 poll.
2012– present: Touring and debut album
Beginning in February 2012, Rocky joined Kendrick Lamar as the opening act for Drake’s Club Paradise Tour. 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. He and Raider Klan also accused ASAP Mob of copying their style, and Rocky of using lyrics from SpaceGhostPurrp’s song “My Enemy” on “Goldie”. Rocky responded in a July interview for MTV, saying that SpaceGhostPurrp is “try to build hype” and told him to “stick to makin’ beats”.
In July, Rocky performed at the Pitchfork Music Festival. He was scheduled to make his network television debut on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on July 20, 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. After it was rescheduled for August 21, Rocky performed “Goldie” on the show. On September 6, he also performed a guest rap on Rihanna’s “Cockiness (Love It)” at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards.
Rocky recorded his debut studio album Long. Live. ASAP with producers Clams Casino, Hit-Boy, ASAP Ty Beats, Soufein3000, and Joey Fat Beats. “Goldie” was released as the album’s lead single on April 27. On August 27, his crew ASAP Mob released the mixtape Lords Never Worry as a free download. 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. Long. Live. ASAP was released on January 15, 2013, to mostly positive reviews from critics. The album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 139,000 copies in the United States. As of March 13, 2013, it has sold 284,000 copies.
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 Andre 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 and set to release during the summer for free download.