ASAP Rocky speaks on ASAP Yams

This time last week, the hip hop world was stunned at the sudden passing of ASAP Yams.

With Sundance going on this week, ASAP Rocky, in town for the debut of his first acting role, granted an interview to Billboard and for the first time opened up on his close friend’s death. He had one performance in Sundance too this weekend and had to stop it and address the crowd about his heavy heart remembering Yams. Some sorrowful quotables below, but it ends on a positive note.

“That performance — that was just going to stop me from crying,” Rocky said, speaking for the first time in detail about Yams’ death. “I had to address it, because the whole time I was rapping and I wasn’t into it, which is sad, but I just gotta keep it real. I can’t front. It’s even harder knowing that I gotta fly out in less than an hour just to go bury him. That’s the part that eats at me.”

On Jan. 20 an NYPD spokesperson told The Fader that Yams’ cause of death was unknown, but that hasn’t stop many from speculating that a drug overdose was to blame. A$AP Ant recently denounced those rumors, and Rocky backed him up.

“People were saying that Yams overdosed on drugs — he didn’t overdose on any drugs,” Rocky said, though he declined to discuss the real cause of Yams’ passing. “I feel like people feel that way because that’s all he’s in pictures doing. When you see A$AP Yams you see Hennessey or purple drink, you see some type of controlled substance or illegal narcotic.”

“I’m a happy spirit, man, and I feel like time heals,” he said. “It’s all about good people with good energy, and the universe keeps producing them to me. I’ll be fine. God is good and I keep all hope and faith.”

ICYMI: My lone experience with ASAP Yams

A$AP Yams passes away

This morning, the hip hop world was shaken at the news of the passing of A$AP Yams, only 26 years old, and one of the founding members and managers of the A$AP Mob. He was instrumental in setting up the careers of A$AP Rocky, Ferg, and the entire Mob, citing their first jump to fame through their unique utilization of tumblr.

When I heard the news through various forms of tributes on social media by many of the game’s biggest artists (below), I immediately recounted our own, lone personal experience with ASAP Yams. In fact, to date, this is still an e-mail that stands out amongst the thousands we’ve ever received.

The backstory: flashback to November of 2011. We were organizing plans to throw our own SXSW Showcase in the spring of 2012 and began the process of reaching out for artists months in advance. At the time, A$AP Rocky began his breakout and was on our short list of people to reach out to. With no direct plug to the Mob, we found a general e-mail to send a proposal.

Yams got back to us. And this e-mail remains a sign of A$AP Mob’s loyalty to their fans and speaks to how Yams looked out for those who supported him and his movement from the beginning.

asap-yams-emailIsn’t that awesome? We were pleasantly taken aback by the response and to date, we haven’t received an e-mail that asked specifically for something like this. The end of the story isn’t all too exciting. Unfortunately, our SXSW 2012 showcase never came together until 2013 and we never formally met A$AP Yams. But for this e-mail to still stand out to me years later means it was something special. It alone made me respect the Mob more and made me more of a fan. And after all, if you’re an A$AP Mob fan… or even if you may not be, how can you not appreciate this e-mail, heart, and authenticity?

So today, we have Yams, the Mob, and their friends/family in our thoughts and prayers. No cause of death has been released. It’s just clear that we lost a good dude who was universally respected by peers all around. Just take a look below. Much #respect to A$AP Yams as well.

R.I.P YAMS, I LOVE YOU BROTHER

A photo posted by PRETTY FLACKO (@asvpxrocky) on

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

https://twitter.com/MIAuniverse/status/556790832800731136

https://twitter.com/trvisXX/status/556799188160110593

https://twitter.com/MacMiller/status/556771962274344961

https://twitter.com/AZEALIABANKS/status/556789830567219200

#RIPYams

A photo posted by @hiphopdx on

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js