It is a sad day for the rap community; the passing of A$AP Yams, also known as Steven Rodriguez, has been confirmed by a statement from his label. The members of the group he founded, A$AP Mob, have all turned to social media in order to mourn his death; A$AP Ferg wrote on Tumblr, “You will be missed Bro. We done touched a lot of ground together, landed on a lot of different soil. You will always be loved & your spirit will live on!”
Before founding A$AP Mob, Rodriguez had a reputation as a key tastemaker; he later went on to help secure the big money record contract for the group, and helped to shepherd the careers of A$AP Ferg and A$AP Rocky, who have since broken out. Not that the rapper was sad to see them go; he saw himself as a mentor to them, at one point saying that “Rocky’s like Luke Skywalker, and I’m Yoda.”
However, it isn’t just the members of A$AP Mob and their fanbase that are in mourning. Once rumors of his passing started to spread around, other artists in the rap community started sharing their feelings. Wale tweeted, “Yams was a great spirit. Always wit the jokes and good vibes EVERYtime.” Drake also joined in with, “Rest in peace Yams. A$AP is family.” Azealia Banks added in her tweet of “A.S.A.P YAMS should be remembered as a leader, an innovator, and most importantly as an important part of NYC youth culture.” Countless others have also mentioned via Twitter that they are keeping Rodriguez in their hearts, including Wiz Khalifa, Danny Brown, Chance the Rapper, Camillionaire, Action Bronson, Lil B, and many more.
The details on what happened to Rodriguez are still unclear, and nothing has been released except for a shocked confirmation of his passing by RCA Records. In recent years Yams suffered with a drug addiction, most notably to Xanex and codeine, and in July of 2014 he admitted himself to a rehab facility in order to clean up the habit. However, his last tweet, posted on the 16th of January, read “Bodeine Crazy”, which is an allusion to his preferred narcotic. Whether the message had anything to do with this tragedy is speculative, but one thing is for certain; the rap community, fans, and people across the world will remember A$AP Yams.