Rakim Mayers better known as ASAP Rocky, is an American rapper and music video director. Born and raised in the New York neighborhood Harlem, he is a member of the hip hop collective A$AP MOB, from which he adopted his moniker. When he was 12 years old, his father went to jail in connection with selling drugs. A year later his older brother was killed near his apartment, which inspired him to take rapping seriously. Mayers, who had started rapping at age eight, grew up admiring Harlem – based rap group The Diplomats, and also lists among his influences Three 6 Mafia, Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang-Clan, Run DMC and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. Before moving to Elmwood Park, New Jersey. In 2007, Rocky assembled the hip hop crew A$AP Mob, a collective of rappers, producers, and music video directors. He adopted its A$AP moniker, which has multiple meanings, including “Always Strive And Prosper” , “Assassinating Snitches And Police” , and Rocky’s favorite, “Acronym Symbolizing Any Purpose ”.
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 fan in Paris. In august, his first single “Peso” was leaked onto the internet and within weeks received airplay on the high – profile Hot 97 New York radio station. Music video for “Peso” and “Purple swag” , the latter from Deep Purple, generated further buzz and resulted in ASAP Rocky signing a reported two year $3 million record deal with Sony, RCA Records and polo Grounds Music. ASAP Rocky released the mix tape LiveLoveA$AP, featuring both songs, in October to critical acclaim. On December 5, he was nominated for BCC’s Sound of 2012 poll.
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