10K80 by August Prum October 2, 2017
A$AP Yams had a brief moment in the hip-hop spotlight, but he left a massive impact on the culture, aesthetic, and attitude of modern hip-hop.
Born Steven Rodriguez, A$AP Yams was one of the most magnetic and important figures in the game. He took a group of Harlem creatives and formed the A$AP Mob, now known around the globe as a premier collective in hip-hop.
It all started from a very young age for Yams. Since he was a kid, he would bury himself in hip-hop history and culture, selling mixtapes on the block and mixing it up with artists in his neighborhood.
Yams also became a true internet tastemaker, curating a Tumblr page that became must-read content for anyone obsessed with hip-hop trends.
The New York Times wrote in January 2013 profile that Yams’ Tumblr,
“Had become one of the most reliable hip-hop tastemaking sites on the Internet, trafficking in obscure gangster rap, scans from old hip-hop magazines, rare photos and all manner of insider jokes. It had a devoted following — it was historical, attitudinal and an alluring blend of street knowledge and nerd knowledge.”
So when Yams met up with Rocky and worked with him to find his perfect sound, Yams used that very Tumblr page to market his artist. Yams pretended to be “discovering” Rocky like any of the other artists he featured on his page. His Tumblr following immediately reacted to Rocky’s unique sound.
Everyone that came in contact with Yams was left impacted by the A$AP originator. He was one of the most magnetic personalities in hip-hop and helped revive the New York City sound without even picking up a microphone. He curated an entire movement and guided the way that modern hip-hop sounds, looks, and talks on the internet.
Yams is a true legend. We miss him dearly, and we’ll never forget the wave he started.