10 Things You Didn’t Know About A$AP Rocky

If you are a true fan of hip-hop, you’ve definitely heard about Rakim Athelaston Mayers, popularly known as A$AP Rocky. Despite his monumental influence on modern culture, there is a lot you probably don’t know about him. From personal life experiences that have shaped his music to his style influences and his ventures outside the music industry, this article unveils ten interesting facts about A$AP Rocky you probably did not know.

1. His name has a double reference

A$AP Rocky’s stage name is a combination of two influences. The A$AP in his name stands for ‘Always Strive and Prosper’ coined from the name of the hip-hop collective he is part of – A$AP Mob. ‘Rocky’ is in homage to one of his biggest influences – the 80’s rapper, Rakim, from Eric B. & Rakim.

Born as Rakim Mayers, Rocky thus took ‘Rakim’ from his own name and blended it with his idol’s name to create a moniker that has now become an iconic label in the world of music.

2. He didn’t have an easy childhood

A$AP Rocky experienced very significant struggles during his childhood. Mayers was born in New York and raised in the Harlem neighborhood, which was known for its high crime rate. His father was incarcerated when Rocky was only 12, and later, he lost his older brother, who inspired him to take up rapping, to gun violence.

These experiences heavily influenced his early life and his music, fostering a raw and authentic edge to his raps that resonates with many, and helped shape his unique journey in the music industry.

3. His fashion sense caused controversy

A$AP Rocky’s fashion sense has often been eye-catching and experimental, at times creating controversies. He isn’t afraid to push boundaries, often mixing high fashion with streetwear in a way few others can pull off.

His most controversial fashion moment was when he wore a Gucci silk scarf and dress on the red carpet for the 2012 BET Awards. This was met with mixed reviews but served as a testament to his fearlessness and his desire to redefine masculinity in hip-hop.

4. He’s helped other artists achieve fame

Many top artists in the music industry owe their breakthrough to A$AP Rocky’s influence and support. An example is Playboi Carti, who was living with Rocky when he made his breakout mixtape.

Rocky also produced and featured on the song “Peso,” which gave A$AP Ferg his biggest hit to date. His support for fellow artists and his role in shaping the modern hip-hop scene can’t be underestimated.

5. Music isn’t his only focus

A$AP Rocky is well known for his love for fashion, even launching his clothing line ‘AWGE’. He has collaborated with high-end fashion brands like Guess and Dior.

Beyond music and fashion, Rocky has ventured into acting with appearances in films like ‘Dope’ and ‘Zoolander 2’. His versatility arguably marks him as one of the most multifaceted artists in the industry today.

6. He has a history of philanthropy

Rocky has consistently given back to society. After the death of his sister, he set up the Rocky Foundation, a charity providing scholarships for young design students.

He is also known for regularly volunteering at homeless shelters and participating in various charity events. His acts of kindness allow him to impact lives beyond his music and fashion.

7. He got his start on the internet

Like many modern artists, A$AP Rocky got his start on the internet. He released his music on platforms like SoundCloud and Youtube, gaining popularity before he even inked a record deal.

His breakout hit, “Purple Swag,” which he released on YouTube, gained millions of views and drew the attention of record labels. This ultimately paved the way for him signing his first major record deal.

8. He has had several legal issues

Despite his success, Rocky has had his fair share of run-ins with the law. From squabbles with photographers to assault charges after a street brawl in Sweden, his encounters with legal issues have been well-documented in the news.

His legal problems have brought him into the spotlight for the wrong reasons, but they’ve also been formative experiences that have influenced his music and life perspective.

9. He’s known for his freestyling ability

One of A$AP Rocky’s notable talents is freestyling. He has a natural talent for coming up with powerful verses off the top of his head, and has done so on numerous radio shows, at concerts and in interviews.

Rocky’s skill to freestyle is often praised by fans and critics and is considered one of the defining traits of his artistry, demonstrating his exceptional talent as a rapper.

10. His love for psychedelic drugs

A$AP Rocky is known for his love of psychedelic drugs. He often raps about drug use in his songs, and his music videos often feature trippy visuals. These influences have been a significant part of his music and aesthetic.

However, Rocky acknowledges drugs’ potential dangers in some of his lyrics, pointing out that while they’ve provided him with inspiration, they’ve also come with damaging effects.

So, there you have it, ten things you probably didn’t know about A$AP Rocky. From his early life to his rise to fame, his influence extends well beyond the world of music.

A$AP Mob’s official website

A$AP Rocky’s breakout video ‘Purple Swag’