Obviously, the most popular figure in ASAP Mob is ASAP Rocky. It has always been that way. Thanks to the competent production of one of the founders of the ASAP Yams gang, Rocky made the association recognizable and was the first to sign an expensive contract with Sony Music Entertainment. It is important to note here that Rocky spent almost half of the $3 million raised on the creation of the ASAP Worldwide label, which is still involved in all the band’s releases.
What can I say, everyone loves Rocky, even those who are not related to hip-hop (and such people are becoming less and less). Charismatic, smiling, dressed in branded clothes, he collaborates with the stars of the mainstream music, goes to fashion shows, and his name flashes in various media. However, it would be wrong to think that Rocky is pulling the entire ASAP Mob. The gang has united artists of different techniques and presentations, each of which has an impressive musical background. Plus, Ferg has been gaining more and more weight in the hip-hop industry in recent years and, who knows, may someday surpass Rocky. And, of course, time will tell how the careers of the other members of the association will develop.
Rocky and Yams’ views on the genre were very similar. For more information about A$AP you can find in Part 1 of the A$AP Mob history. Rakim grew up with the Harlem group The Diplomats and was also influenced by the Mobb Deep and Wu-Tang Clan. He assimilated a variety of hip-hop styles into his tracks, making him a unique artist. His music always had a special swag that allowed him to combine the charm of a girl’s favorite (“pretty motherfucker”, as he calls himself) with the aggressiveness of a guy from thin. After Yams died, Rocky said that Stephen would never let him record too many radio-friendly songs. Yams believed that an artist shouldn’t be adjusting to the mainstream because the time will come when the mainstream will adjust to the artist. Given the popularity of ASAP Mob today, as well as the abundance of new school rappers who have grown up on the wave created by ASAP Yams, this is exactly what has happened in the hip-hop industry in recent years.
ASAP Rocky initially didn’t look like authentic street rappers like Tupac or even DMX. This becomes apparent when you first look at it. However, his biography is the classic story of a rapper who rose from the bottom and made himself. To begin with, his parents named him after the star of New York hip-hop – Rakim. He was taught to rap by his older brother, who, by the way, also wore pigtails. Rocky’s teenage years were not easy. When Rakim was 12, his father was imprisoned for selling drugs, and a year later his older brother was killed on the streets of Harlem. Rocky has repeatedly told reporters that at the age of 15, he moved with his mother and sister from one homeless shelter to another and sold drugs in the Bronx.
It is noteworthy in this story that, despite the family dramas and dire financial situation, Rocky had a love for designer clothes since childhood. Later, ASAP Bari will tell how he and Rocky were stealing branded items from stores that they could not buy. This was atypical not just for a young rapper who plans to become the new voice of the streets, but in principle for a guy who grew up in Harlem, where he was beaten without looking for tight jeans. Talking to reporters, Rocky noted that it was thanks to him and the other guys from ASAP Mob that the attitude of the Harlem urban community towards the fashion industry changed. By their example, they showed that it is not necessary to follow a template, to repeat someone’s successful model, in order to win the respect of the audience. It’s enough just to be yourself. The same goes for music. Personality, the ability to take the best of different styles, and adapt it to your own flow has become the main feature of Rocky swag and shaped its image.
The passion for fashion brings together not only ASAP Rocky and ASAP Ferg, but it has also become one of the pillars on which the entire concept of ASAP Mob is built. The members of the community not only managed to make the hip-hop crowd look differently at the image of a modern rapper, they gave a very special meaning to the visual component of creativity. Many gang members have experience directing music videos. And the 12-minute clip for “Money Man” and “Put that on my set” became a real example of visual art. To shoot the video, the rappers were inspired by the film “Hate” by the French director Mathieu Kassowitz.
Despite the atypical attention for most of its predecessors to what is not directly related to rap, the members of ASAP Mob remain guys from the streets. ASAP Bari, who serves as a designer and is responsible for all the creative activities of the association, said that he is inspired by people who ride the subway, get into taxis, and just walk the streets of Harlem. Among the brands that have particularly influenced him are BAPE, Supreme, and Stussy. As part of his clothing line called VLONE Bari makes things that can be worn for a month without taking off. Because of this, teenagers love them so much.