Rakim Mayers (born October 3, 1988), better known by his stage name ASAP Rocky (stylized as A$AP Rocky), is anAmerican rapper and music video director. Born and raised in the New York City neighborhood Harlem, he is a member of the hip hop crew A$AP Mob, from which he adopted his moniker. Rocky released the mixtape LiveLoveA$AP in 2011. On December 5, 2011, the BBC announced that he had been nominated for the BBC's Sound of 2012 poll. He is working on the A$AP Mob album, as well as his debut album, LongLiveA$AP, scheduled to be released in July 2012.
Born in 1988, Mayers was named after the hip hop star Rakim, one half of the Eric B. & Rakim duo. When he was 12 years old, his father went to jail in connection with selling drugs. A year later an older brother was killed near his apartment, which inspired him to take rapping seriously. Mayers had started rapping at age 8, grew up admiring Harlem-based rap group The Diplomats, and also lists among his influences Three 6 Mafia, Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang Clan, UGK, Run DMC and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. After living in a shelter with his mother, and elsewhere around Manhattan, Mayers moved to Elmwood Park, New Jersey.
2007–2011: Beginnings and mixtape
In 2007, Rocky assembled the hip hop crew A$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".
His first single "Peso" 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 two $3 million record deal with Sony, RCA Records and Polo Grounds Music. ASAP Rocky released the mixtape LiveLoveA$AP in October to generally positive reviews from critics.
2012–present: Debut album
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 is due in May.