Rakim Mayers was born on October 3, 1988, in Harlem, New York and is an American rapper. He was named after rapper Rakim. He started to rap when he was 8 years old, he learned rapping from his older brother Ricky Mayers. Rakim was raised in Harlem, a neighbourhood with high crime statistics. A$AP didn’t like school much. The only reasons for him to like school was to show his outfits and to hang around with the girls. At the age of 12, his father was jailed for dealing drugs. Later, his father was murdered. His brother Ricky was shot to death at 20 years of age, when Rakin was 13 years old. As Rakim said in an interview: “He got shot right around the corner at 20 years old. I was going to school down the block at the time and I remember my mom rushed ‘your brother just got shot.'” “He was so tough I thought he was gonna make it,” Rocky added. “I didn’t think he was gonna pass and but we were up the block at St. Luke’s [Hospital] and that’s when it happened. February 22, that’s when they announced it.” According to Rakim, its very easy to get stuck in the criminal life of selling drugs. He also started with dealing weed and later also crack, but because it didn’t make him rich, he stopped dealing. In his words: “Everybody’s dream is to make it big with that shit and get out. I didn’t make it big so I got out.” Rakim lives with his mother and older sister in homeless shelters. He listens a lot to the music of the Harlem rap group “The Diplomats”. He also listens a lot to Mobb Deep, Three 6 Mafia, UGK, Run DMC, Wu-Tang Clan and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. He gets his inspiration from those groups. At the age of 17, he starts to take rap seriously and starts to practice. In 2007 A$AP Rocky he becomes a member of A$AP MOB crew, a rap group from Harlem. This group consists of A$AP Yams (until 2015 when he died), A$AP Bari and A$AP Illz. In July 2011, Rocky released his first mixtape Deep Purple which includes his first debut single “Purple Swag”. ‘’Purple Swag’’ becomes a success with over 42 million views on YouTube. This track makes ‘’Sony Music Entertainment’’ interested and the rapper signs a contract with a total value of 3 million dollar. In 2013 he starts his own clothing line and in 2016 he starts to work with Guess (clothing and fragrances) and Mercedes Benz (the car brand).
The rapper is known as a mainstream rapper and has a very unique and recognizable style of rapping. His raps are very relaxed with a strong flow. Also his beats stand out, they are often very slow and relaxed. His lyrics are about the life on the streets, women, fashion and the purple drink Lean. The most streamed song on Spotity is ”Fucking problems”, with 226 million streams. Every month 6.7 million listeners stream his music on Spotify and this ranks him on the 206th position worldwide.
The tracks I like best are: