Members of the A$AP Mob have confirmed Yams death on social media, although no further details are available about his passing. He was 26.
A$AP Yams, born Steven Rodriguez, Yams played a pivotal role in the foundation of the New York hip-hop crew A$AP Mob, that helped facilitate the rise of both A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg.
Rodriguez, who ran a hip-hop blog and built a reputation as a key tastemaker before founding the A$AP Mob, is credited with helping the collective secure their big money record contract and shepherding the careers of breakout stars A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg.
In a 2013 New York Times profile, Yams broke down his role as, “Rocky’s like Luke Skywalker, and I’m Yoda.”
The label executive kept a considerably lower profile than his peers in the collective, a position he appeared to enjoy.
Yams started the A$AP Mob with A$AP Bari and A$AP Illz in 2007 when he was just 17 years old.
He became known as a tastemaker thanks to his influential Tumblr account, which helped the New York crew gain a following.
Members of the A$AP collective and fellow hip-hop stars aired their condolences via social media after news of Yam’s death surfaced on Sunday.
In a statement, RCA Records wrote, “All of us at RCA Records are shocked and saddened to hear of the death of A$AP Yams. As one of the creative forces behind A$AP Worldwide, Yams’ vision, humor and dedication to the members of A$AP Mob will always be remembered. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.”
“You will be missed Bro,” A$AP Ferg wrote on Instagram. “We done touched a lot of ground together, landed on a lot of different soil!!! You will always be loved & your spirit will live on!!!”
A$AP Rocky shared a photo of Yams on Instagram with the caption “R.I.P YAMS, I LOVE YOU BROTHER.”
“A.S.A.P YAMS should be remembered as a leader, an innovator and most importantly as an important part of NYC youth culture,” Azealia Banks tweeted.
“Rest in peace Yams. A$AP is family,” Drake tweeted.
“Lost a brother today … Love u Yams #RIP,” Danny Brown tweeted.
“Shocked to hear about the passing of ASAP Yams. May he rest in peace & condolences to the worldwide ASAP family,” Chamillionaire tweeted.
As BET notes, Yams had struggled with drug addiction in recent years, particularly codeine and Xanax, but the A$AP mogul entered a rehab facility in July 2014 to curb his habit.
However, Yams’ last tweet on January 16th was “Bodeine Brazy,” a nod to his drug of choice.
“We wanted to become big but we didn’t want to do it by hopping on somebody else’s wave,” Yams said in the New York Times piece.
“We wanted to come in the game with our own wave.”