Given Name: Rakim Mayers
Aliases: Lord Flacko Jodye II, Pretty Motherfucker
Occupations: Rapper, Producer, Director, Model, Fashion Designer
Early Life: Rocky had a rough upbringing in Harlem, punctuated by the death of his older brother when he was 13, and his father's incarceration when he was 12. He began rapping at the age of 8, and began selling drugs at age 15. In 2007, he met A$APs Yams, Bari and Illz, the original founders of the A$AP Mob, and joined their crew.
Releases: Deep Purple, unofficial compilation, July 2011; Live.Love.A$AP, mixtape, October 2011; Lord$ Never Worry, collaborative mixtape, August 2012; Long.Live.A$AP, debut album, January 2013.
Career Highlights: Signed a two year, $3 million record deal with RCA/Polo Grounds in 2011. Founded the A$AP Worldwide label with A$AP Yams. Debuted at Number One with his album Long.Live.A$AP. Released his A$AP clothing brand in 2013, and later collaborated with designer Raf Simons. Won the Best Collaboration award at the 2013 BET awards for his song "Fuckin' Problems."
Sound: With his Clams Casino-produced tracks, Rocky popularized a Southern-influenced, hazy style known as "Cloud Rap" and/or "Trillwave." As a New Yorker, he frequently cites The Diplomats as a major influence, but his music more closely resembles that of screwed-up Southern artists such as Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, UGK and Three 6 Mafia. On Long.Live.A$AP, he broadened his sound, incorporating '90s boom-bap, dubstep, and more radio-friendly fare.
Strengths: Rocky has a singsong delivery, described in his song "Purple Swag: Chapter 2" by the line: "Niggas ain't ready for the flow switch/Only Harlem nigga on his Bone shit," referring to his often abrupt changes of pace and love for Bone Thugs. What he may lack in lyrical content, he makes up for with his flashy flows and superb beat selection. He's also a budding producer (with co-production credits on three of his last album's songs) and video director (his most noteworthy video to date being Danny Brown's "Blunt After Blunt").
What's Next: In Summer 2013, Rocky announced that he was making an instrumental album called Beauty & the Beast: Slowed Down Sessions (Volume One), but did not specify a release date. Yesterday (February 3rd, 2014), Rocky announced the lead single of that album, "Riot Rave," and said it will drop later this month. On March 4th, 2014, Rocky and the rest of A$AP Mob will release the collaborative L.O.R.D. EP.