Rakim Athelaston Mayers (born October 3, 1988), known professionally as ASAP Rocky (stylized as A$AP Rocky; /ˈeɪsæp/, AY-sap), is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, model, actor, and music video director. He is a member of the hip hop collective A$AP Mob, from which he adopted his moniker. In August 2011, Rocky's single "Peso", was leaked online and within weeks received radio airplay. Rocky released his debut mixtape Live. Love. A$AP later that year to widespread critical acclaim. The success of his mixtape led to a record deal with Polo Grounds Music, RCA Records, and Sony Music Entertainment. His debut studio album Long. Live. A$AP (2013) was also well received by critics and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. The album was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and its hit single "Fuckin' Problems" was nominated for Best Rap Song at the 2014 Grammy Awards. In 2015, Rocky released his second album titled At. Long. Last. A$AP. The album was Rocky's second consecutive album to debut at number one the Billboard 200 and received mostly positive reviews from music critics. The album's single, "L$D", was nominated for Best Music Video at the 2016 Grammy Awards. In 2018, Rocky released his third album Testing, which peaked in the top five of seven countries. Rocky has won a BET Award, two BET Hip Hop Awards, a MTV Video Music Award Japan and a MTVU Woodie Award, as well as being nominated for two Grammy Awards, six World Music Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards and two MTV Europe Music Awards. Rocky has also directed music videos for himself, Danny Brown, and other A$AP Mob members. Furthermore, he is a noted record producer, producing under the pseudonym Lord Flacko.
Rakim Mayers was born on October 3, 1988, in Harlem a neighborhood of Manhattan, New York. His father is from Barbados. He had an older sister, Erika B. Mayers, Mayers' first name was taken from the hip hop artist Rakim, one half of the Eric B. and Rakim duo. His cousin is fellow ASAP Mob member ASAP Nast. Mayers started rapping at age nine, when he moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He learned how to rap from his older brother, who also wore the Hair twists hairdo that Mayers later adopted. When Mayers was 12 years old, his father went to jail in connection with selling drugs; he died in 2012. When Mayers was 13, his brother was killed in Harlem.The death inspired Rocky to take rapping more seriously. Mayers grew up admiring Harlem-based rap group The Diplomats. He was also influenced by Mobb Deep, Three 6 Mafia, UGK, Run DMC, Wu-Tang Clan, and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. A$AP Rocky sold cannabi s and crack while moving around homeless shelters with his mother and sister. At age 15, he was selling crack in the Bronx. After living for a period in a shelter with his mother in New York City, he moved to midtown Manhattan. In 2004, Mayers served two weeks in Rikers Island for drug dealing, where he shared a cell with future rapper Casanova.